Lakshmin’s 'empowering' self-care guide goes to Cornerstone in three-publisher auction

Lakshmin’s 'empowering' self-care guide goes to Cornerstone in three-publisher auction

Cornerstone has won a three-way auction for Empowered, psychiatrist Pooja Lakshmin’s "hands-on guide to true wellbeing" for women, , to be published on a new non-fiction list.

Commissioning editor Anna Argenio made a deal for UK and Commonwealth rights with Sabila Khan at Penguin Life US. Cornerstone will publish in early spring 2023, as a flagship title on a new smart thinking list focusing on "how best we can live our lives", part of a rebrand of Random House Business Books first announced in February.

Based on Dr Lakshmin’s experience as a clinical psychiatrist, Empowered will be a "hands on guide to true wellbeing". It will challenge the wellness industry today and provide concrete solutions to truly care for yourself, said the publisher. The book will draw on the author's knowledge of treating women suffering from burnout, disconnection and disillusionment – as well as the latest research from the fields of psychology, sociology and cognitive science – to explore the effective and long-lasting ways readers can reconnect with themselves and their needs, and engage in the work of real self-care. 

Argenio said: "As someone who has, for better or worse, bought into a fair few self-care trends, I was immediately drawn to Empowered. The sentiment that ‘you can’t self-care yourself out of a 40-hour work week with no childcare’ is one that resonated strongly with absolutely everyone in the team. What I love the most about the book is that Pooja is writing it in solidarity with women: she is here to help us come together and empower us to make positive change in our lives. Empowered will appeal to any woman struggling to feel fulfilled – which is to say, just about all of us."

Lakshmin commented: "In my practice as a psychiatrist specialising in women’s mental health, I’ve seen for years the stresses women are under when it comes to caring for their families, managing their relationships, and excelling in their workplaces. And of course, these stresses have reached peak levels during the pandemic. I’ve also seen that the solutions that are sold to women under the guise of self-care do not provide sustainable relief and instead serve to exonerate a system that puts women last. My book offers a novel framework for approaching the work of real self-care — self-care that is internal, compassionate and sustainable. Anna and her team immediately got it, and I am so thrilled to bring my work to the UK with the Cornerstone team bring this message to life with them!"