De Waal's 'extraordinary' memoir goes to Tinder Press

De Waal's 'extraordinary' memoir goes to Tinder Press

Tinder Press has landed Kit de Waal’s memoir about growing up in Birmingham in the Sixties and Seventies, Without Warning and Only Sometimes, which she described as "the story I always wanted to tell".

Publisher Mary-Anne Harrington acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Jo Unwin at JULA. Without Warning and Only Sometimes will be published on 18th August 2022.   

The memoir charts de Waal’s unpredictable childhood, growing up mixed race in Moseley, Birmingham.

Harrington said: “I have been desperate to work with Kit for years and knew she had the most wonderful story to tell, so it’s both an enormous thrill and an honour to be working with her on Without Warning and Only Sometimes. Kit takes us into the mind and heart of a girl raised to believe the world was going to end in 1975, who was never allowed to celebrate Christmas, and whose father squirreled away every penny he had to build a house in St Kitts that his wife and children were never to see.” 

She added: “It’s a story about feeling that your face doesn’t fit and about being written off at school, but what leaps off the page is Kit’s extraordinary spark, and the sustaining power of her bond with her siblings and their irrepressible sense of fun. Not incidentally, it’s also a story about how a child who was raised in a home where the only reading matter was the Bible and the Watchtower finally ended up discovering the books that have shaped her life ever since.  This is writing that just leaps off the page and I know it’s going to bring Kit to a new and even wider readership: I couldn’t feel more passionate about it.” 

De Waal commented: “I am over the moon to be working with Mary-Anne Harrington on that most difficult thing — the story of one’s life that you hope has all the pace of a thriller, the laughter of a comedy and the wisdom of a good essay. I’m so excited to have finally committed it all to paper. Without Warning and Only Sometimes is the story I always wanted to tell.” 

Unwin added: “When Mary-Anne approached Kit to write a memoir my heart leapt. This was something I would absolutely love to read, and I knew if Kit wanted to write it, we’d be more than safe in her hands. Without Warning and Only Sometimes does not disappoint — the story of these spirited little siblings will devastate and cheer you up all at once.” 

De Waal's debut, My Name is Leon (Viking), was shortlisted for the Costa First Book Award, won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and is being adapted into a film for BBC1. The Trick to Time was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and she has also written a short story collection, Supporting Cast (both published by Penguin).  She is also editor of the Common People Anthology (Unbound) and co-founder of the Big Book Weekend festival.