Bloomsbury is to publish a "mould-breaking" work of graphic non-fiction, Two Heads, written by leading neuroscientists, professors Uta Frith and Chris Frith, in collaboration with their son, Alex Frith, and Daniel Locke, a young artist.
Publishing director Alexis Kirschbaum acquired UK and Commonwealth rights at auction from Patrick Walsh at Pew Literary. US rights were pre-empted by Daniel Loedel, Nan Graham and Sarah Goldberg at Scribner/Simon & Schuster.
Two Heads is a graphic biography that tells the story of the birth of neuroscience through the 40-year careers of professors Uta and Chris Frith. Dame Uta Frith, president of the British Science Association and a research psychologist, is one of the world’s leading researchers into autism and dyslexia, while Dr Chris Frith is a neuroscientist who has spent his research career working on schizophrenia, and also led the team which discovered the enlarged brains of London black taxi drivers.
Worldwide, their work has shaped the way that researchers and clinicians think about the mind and brain and they are responsible for paradigm shifts across areas as wide-ranging as autism and schizophrenia research, consciousness studies, dyslexia and social neuroscience, according to the publisher.
Working with their son Alex Frith, a publisher at Usborne, and artist Daniel Locke, the professors examine in Two Heads the way that neuroscientific research now is concentrating on the fact we are a social species, whose brains have evolved to work co-operatively – with the ‘two heads’ aspects of the Friths’ own careers neatly tracking the future direction of neuroscience.
"We have long experience in writing scientific articles about what makes us social," said the professors. "But we had to realise that not everyone finds this question as interesting as we do! Now for the first time we can use a new medium and leave behind the narrow world of technical jargon."
Alex Frith added: "We really hope this book can reach a wide audience of readers who want to know more about the brain, and how people relate to each other, regardless of how much or how little people think they already know. We believe the graphic approach is the single best way to achieve this, and Bloomsbury have a fantastic track record of producing beautiful and stylish graphic novels that sit neatly on the shelves alongside 'normal' books, as well as earning their place on the best comics shelves."
Two Heads will be published by Bloomsbury in 2019.