HQ has acquired a memoir by the co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party Catherine Mayer and her mother Anne Mayer Bird, written after they were both widowed within weeks of each other just before the Covid-19 lockdown.
Executive publisher Lisa Milton acquired world all language rights from Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown for Good Grief: Embracing Life at a Time of Death. The book HQ will be published in hardback, e-book and audio in December 2020.
The book is about how, after the deaths of their partners, the mother and daughter began to meet every Sunday in Mayer Bird'’s living room. Together they tackled the burdens of bereavement, from “sadmin” to strained social etiquettes.
Its synopsis explains: “The book shares their insights, pain and love, hope and humour against a backdrop of global turbulences and within a culture scared to death of death. Catherine also details her investigation into the possibility that her husband, the musician Andy Gill, whose death on 1st February made global headlines, may have been one of the earliest Covid-19 cases in the UK. This narrative is punctuated by the devastatingly intimate letters Anne has written to her husband John to update him on events since he died. Together, mother and daughter also offer thoughts, ideas and advice distilled from their weekly conversations. This book will be for anyone facing grief and loss or wishing to know how best to support others."
Mayer said: “Even on bad days, my mother and I know how fortunate we are. Both of us had the luck to spend many years loving and being loved. And in losing the loves of our lives, we found an ever-closer relationship with each other.” Mayer Bird added: “We hope to help readers grappling with their own losses or uncertain how best to help their friends and family deal with grief.”
Milton commented: “This book will change lives. Good Grief will help everyone better support those grieving.”