Hodder & Stoughton has landed a memoir by Keith Brymer Jones, star judge of Channel Four’s “The Great Pottery Throwdown”.
Publisher Rupert Lancaster acquired world rights for Boy in a China Shop from Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown and will publish in February 2022.
Jones has become famous for bursting into tears at the wonder of what contestants have created, alongside his more critical comments. He is head of ceramics company Make International, whose products sell all over the world.
The book’s synopsis says: “In his memoir Boy in a China Shop, Keith reveals how he went from a north London boyhood to a global success. But this book is about so much more than pottery. It’s about a boy who was given a lump of clay and overcame adversity through hard work, skill and determination. Keith trained as a ballet dancer. He was the lead singer in an almost successful rock band. Dyslexia meant his early years and school were a struggle – until a sympathetic art teacher intervened. For years he worked long hours as a ‘clay boy’ at Harefield Pottery to learn his craft, before setting up on his own. His emotional connection to the clay and his work has been a constant from the beginning but his big break came when Heals took a range of his hand-thrown pottery and he’s never looked back. Inspirational and full of humour and heart, Boy in a China Shop is ultimately as satisfying as one of Keith’s pots. “
Lancaster said: “I’ve known and admired Keith’s work for many years. Boy in a China Shop is about so much more than pottery. It’s about a boy given a ball of clay who overcame adversity to become a success through a huge amount of hard work and determination. Just like Keith, his memoir is inspirational, emotional, humorous and challenging – and as ultimately satisfying as one of his pots.”
Jones commented: “Sifting through half-forgotten memories for this book, trying to pick out the golden nuggets from the stuff that is definitely dross, has been a curious, at times hilarious, sometimes sad, but definitely enlightening process. So here it is – my life of pottery with some very loud music and some pretty good dancing. And a lot of throwing, fettling and firing.”