Headline Review has won Radhika Sanghani's first novel for adults, 30 Things I Love About Myself, in a "heated" auction.
Following on from two previous YA books, Sanghani's first novel for adults will publish in January 2022 and is described as "hilarious, authentic and life-affirming" as well as "a book that sparks important feminist conversation".
It tells the story of Nina Mistry, who finds herself accidentally in a prison cell on the night of her 30th birthday, and discovers a tatty little self-help book which will inspire her to take a long hard look at her life, who she really is and what she wants – and to begin a self-love journey like no other.
The author is a journalist who writes for the Guardian, Cosmo and Glamour, among others, and is also an influential body positivity campaigner, starting the #sideprofileselfie campaign to celebrate big noses for BBC Three which had 1.2 million views.
Eleanor Dryden, publisher of Headline Review, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for 30 Things I Love About Myself and one more book by Sanghani from Madeleine Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Literary, Film & TV Agency.
"Frankly, Radhika had me at the book’s dedication, and I knew from very early on it is the – rare – kind of book that I wanted to prescribe immediately to all the women I love! From the first few lines Radhika’s wit, humour, insight, originality and courage positively shone from the page and I am absolutely overjoyed to be publishing such a talent," said Dryden.
"It struck an emotional chord with me and with the whole Headline Review team, as I know it will for masses of enthusiastic readers. And it’s a book that sparks important feminist conversation, which we look forward to amplifying. Radhika is a star in the making and we have sky-high ambitions for her."
Milburn said: "I am thrilled that Radhika’s novel is going to be a major publication for Headline – her intelligence and wit shines off the page as she explores issues that are so timely and important, such as diversity in the media, casual sexism, online trolling, beauty ideals, and self-love. An award-wining features journalist and influential body positivity campaigner, Radhika will be a wonderful ambassador for the book."
Sanghani said: "I'm so excited to be working with Headline Review on 30 Things I Love About Myself — and even more excited for this book to reach anyone out there who struggles to love themselves. I wrote it to help people on their own self-love journeys, make them think about everything from racism to mental health, and most importantly, to make them laugh as much as I did whilst writing it. I can't wait to share it with the world."
Sanghani published two YA novels, Virgin and Not That Easy, in 2014 and 2015 respectively (UK Harlequin; US Penguin Random House) that tell the comic story of a young woman's sexual exploration. They have been translated into 13 different languages and turned into an online TV series, where Sanghani was a consultant.
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