Hodder studio has signed two books and a six-part podcast series from producer Hana Walker-Brown.
Editorial director Harriet Poland bought world rights for all three projects from Abigail Bergstrom at Gleam Titles.
The first title, Delicate States: A Story of Power, Corruption and the Human Brain, is described as "an emotive, powerful and compelling investigation", and follows the story and conversations on her award-winning podcast "The Beautiful Brain".
The synopsis explains Delicate States is "the story of the degenerative brain disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). But it is also the story of power, of science and of sport, and of the bodies that society deems worth sacrificing". Based on extensive research—including original interviews with those impacted by the disease—it delves into the complex web of the deadly disease and head injury more widely, and "pulls in the corruption of the world’s leading sporting bodies and their cover-ups, and the class inequality and racial discrimination that determines the fate of those on the field. It also examines the grossly unreported vulnerability and strength of survivors of domestic abuse, and the constant fight to be heard by those suffering from a disease the powerful don’t want you to know about."
Tapping into public interest in corruption in sport, misogyny in scientific research and healthcare, and imbalances in society, the book will be published in August 2021.
The second book and as-yet-untitiled six-part podcast, publishing in 2023, will explore the idea of the "Hot Mess" in society, and the myriad ways the stereotype is used to "oppress and control women". The book, Hot Mess, will explore the subject further, interrogating "tabloid persecutions and scripted reality TV" as well as "the wolfpack nature of social media".
Walker-Brown is an audio documentary maker, executive podcast producer and writer, based in London. She is also guest lecturer at Goldsmiths and has created work for Audible, the BBC, Spotify, Broccoli Content and Warner Bros. Commenting on the deal, she said: "I'm over the moon to be working with Harriet and the team at Hodder on these three projects that are very close to my heart. It's been an immense privilege to be allowed into the lives of the incredible people whose stories feature in this work and to cement their strength, their fight and their hope in the public consciousness. These people who have suffered must not be a statistic - they must never be forgotten and I feel honoured to be able to carry these stories forward."
Poland added: "I don’t know anyone who writes like Hana does. As she tells a story, whether in audio or print, one thing is crystal clear: she has listened, and absorbed, and cared. These projects will be fascinating and more importantly, they will be impactful."