Hodder & Stoughton has netted a memoir about fishing, love and loss from the UK’s best-known female angler, Marina Gibson, in a five-hour pre-empt.
Non-fiction publisher Kirty Topiwala signed UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Adam Gauntlett at PFD within five hours of receiving the proposal. US rights were also quickly pre-empted by Kara Watson at Scribner. Hooked will be published in 2023.
The publisher explained: “In her early 20s, drifting and directionless, Marina Gibson fled the city for the countryside, and picked up a fishing rod for the first time in years. She was returning to a childhood pursuit and a passion passed on by her mother. Fishing overtook Marina's life as she grew enraptured by the quiet magic of angling and the silent mysteries of the river. The ritual of casting and the music of the waterways provided her refuge from a failing marriage and a connection to female anglers stretching back generations.
“Alongside her deeply personal story, Marina will explore those of 10 fish, tracing the epic, continent-traversing journeys of migratory fish, and how their paths meet on lakes and riverbanks the world over. The angling mantra of ‘cast, catch, release’ is a powerful theme running through the book, reflecting Marina’s own journey – casting for what she wants, patiently waiting, catching what comes to her and having the confidence to let go. Hooked is a love letter to fishing that shows what it means to find peace and purpose standing waist-deep in water.”
Gibson is the founder of the Northern Fishing School and has an Instagram following of more than 55,000. She has made a number of TV appearances including alongside Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer in a forthcoming episode of “Gone Fishing”, and Giles Coren, among others.
She said: “I have lived my life on and through the water, and it’s a joy now to be able to share those experiences. I hope Hooked will inspire more people, young and old, to pick up a rod and take off into the great outdoors. I am so thrilled to be working with Kirty and the team at Hodder, and grateful to them for their faith in me and this book.”
Topiwala added: “Marina is an inspiring spokesperson for female anglers everywhere, but just as exciting to me is that she is also a talented writer with a powerful story to tell. I found this book utterly moving and beguiling and I’m so looking forward to sharing it with the world.”