Hodder buys bereaved father’s ‘moving’ memoir

Hodder buys bereaved father’s ‘moving’ memoir

Hodder has bought a father’s "moving" memoir, Once More We Saw Stars, about how he and his wife coped after the death of their two-year-old daughter in a freak accident.

Hodder publisher Rowena Webb bought UK and Commonwealth excluding Canadian rights from Suzanne Smith at Knopf. Knopf won the book in a "major" auction and have already announced a 150,000 copy first printing for May 2019. Hodder will publish simultaneously in the UK.

Due to publish with Hodder in May 2019, the memoir recounts Jayson Greene and his wife Stacy’s journey back from their two-year-old daughter Greta’s death after she was hit by a piece of falling masonry eight stories above the bench where she was sitting. 

According to Hodder, in the aftermath, Greene began to process his emotions and connection to his daughter by jotting notes down on his phone. And soon it became a journal, of which he said: “I honestly believe it kept me alive ... I wanted it to mean something in the world. Anguish is in it, but it’s not about anguish. I wrote it in some ways because my family survived. Greta is gone, but she’s still with us. I want the book to be life-affirming and hopeful, because I’m alive to write it.”

Hoping to draw comparisons to Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air and John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars, Hodder said the book “beautifully captures the fragility of life and how a marriage survives in the wake of tragedy”. 

Webb said: “Jayson’s memoir is among the most moving writing I’ve ever read, but I was also in awe of his humanity, even traces of humour in the face of it all, and his ability to find happiness again. There is so much here for everyone to be inspired by.”