Icon acquires widowhood memoir

Icon acquires widowhood memoir

Icon Books is to publish a "powerful investigation of grief and loss" by journalist Kat Lister. 

Kiera Jamison, senior commissioning editor at Icon Books, acquired UK, Commonwealth (excluding Canada) and European rights for The Elements: A Memoir of Grief, Loss and Transformation from Juliet Pickering at the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, for an undisclosed sum. Pickering sold audio rights to W F Howes in a separate deal.

Lister's memoir of grief and loss is framed around her experiences of becoming a widow in her mid-thirties. The publisher called it "part exploration of grief theories and cultural attitudes towards death, part memoir" and "What emerges is an idea of grieving as an elemental change."

Jamison said: "The Elements was unexpectedly enticing given its subject: a visceral, emotional and cerebral examination of love and a broken heart, identity, and the shifting seasons of grief. Kat’s writing transfixed me, and her original approach connected with the Icon Books team instantly as an important contribution to the literature on understanding grief."

Lister is a magazine journalist, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times Magazine, Vice, Vogue and the Pool. This is her first book.

She said: "I began writing to understand my grief but I continued writing to reach anyone who’s ever lost anything significant in their lives. The Elements is a story of love and pain, but it’s also a book propelled by hope – a wild and radical feeling that can prevail even in the depths of trauma and despair. It was so important for me to find the right home for this memoir and I am so thrilled that I found it at Icon."

The book will be released in September 2021.