HQ will publish the first non-fiction title from YA author Eleanor Wood about her journey from “the depths of existential despair” following a traumatic break-up and psychotic episode.
UK and Commonwealth rights to Staunch were acquired by Kate Fox, senior commissioning editor at HQ, from Caroline Hardman at Hardman and Swainson. It will be published in hardback, e-book and audio in March 2020.
“Staunch explores how Eleanor found herself in her late 30’s on a beach in India with her octogenarian grandma and two great aunts, on a quest to find herself like some kind of middle-class cliché,” HQ said. “Whether it was her traumatic break-up, her family falling apart, a series of disastrous rebound relationships or a psychotic episode that led her to this point, it’s hard to know. But through the stories of the vivid, worldly older women in her family, Eleanor discovers what it means to be staunch in the face of true adversity.”
Wood is the author of YA novels Gemini Rising, Gemini Falling, My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend and Becoming Betty (all published by Pan Macmillan). Her journalism has been featured in magazines such as Elle and she runs a lo-fi fanzine, Shocking Blues and Mean Reds.
Fox said: “It’s rare that you find a book that deals with family history, relationships and some serious psychological issues so relatably and hilariously, you laugh out loud on the train. Eleanor’s story is truly inspirational, and is wound through with three generations of her family in a way that will make you feel like you’ve taken a holiday with these incredible women too.”
Wood, who is based in Brighton, added: “I have tried to write the sort of book that would have helped me when I was in the depths of existential despair. And I want to pay tribute to the staunch women in my family who helped me out of it. I'm delighted that it's turned out to be a relatable topic, and I am so excited - and a little bit terrified - about it being released into the world.”