Headline Publishing Group has acquired The View Was Exhausting by Mikaella Clements and Onjuli Datta, a "bold, swoon-worthy and utterly modern" debut novel.
Commissioning editor Frankie Edwards acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in a deal struck with Lucy Morris at Curtis Brown. The novel will be published by Headline Review in July 2021, simultaneously with the US, where rights were pre-empted by Seema Mahanian at Grand Central from Andrianna Yeatts at ICM.
The synopsis reads: "In the tradition of all great love stories, Whitman ‘Win’ Tagore meets Leo Milanowski. She’s a world-famous actress, he’s the beautiful son of a millionaire. Their kisses write headlines and their fights break the internet. Nobody needs to know it’s not real..."
Edwards said: "I adore this fresh, smart and brilliantly provocative take on 'will they? won’t they?' Mikaella and Onjuli revel in all the classic rom-com tropes—glittering locales, shocking secrets, sky-rocketing chemistry—while setting them against the reality of being a woman of colour in Hollywood. Think Nora Ephron post-Weinstein. It’s hard to believe that Win and Leo are characters in a novel: they feel so real, and leave you weak at the knees. I can’t wait to publish their story."
Clements and Datta commented: "It's been a dream to work with Frankie, Seema and their teams. They’ve brought The View Was Exhausting to life in more ways than one, and we’ve been so thrilled to work with editors who understood our vision for the novel and how to guide us to its fulfilment. This novel is a testament to everything we love in romantic comedies—fake relationships; friends, enemies, lovers; a good number of dramatic parties—but it’s also an attempt to understand how we position ourselves in the world. We're so excited for it to hit the shelves."
Clements and Datta have been writing fiction together since they first met in 2013. They are now married and live in Berlin, where they write and study. The View Was Exhausting is their first novel.