Pan Macmillan has landed Single Bald Female, the “unforgettable” debut novel from journalist and Faber Academy graduate Laura Price.
Editor Jayne Osborne acquired world English rights from Sophie Lambert at C&W, for hardback publication in spring 2022. Rights were pre-empted in Germany by Mareike Mueller at HarperCollins Germany.
Single Bald Female is the story of Jessica Jackson, a 31-year-old, happily coupled-up woman who lands her dream job as editor of a lifestyle magazine. But the vision of the perfect life she’s worked so hard for is derailed when she is diagnosed with breast cancer.
The blurb explains: “As Jess juggles her career with chemo, and learns that her perfect boyfriend isn’t quite so perfect after all, she meets Annabel, a 27-year-old woman with incurable cancer. And Annabel is determined to show Jess that having cancer needn’t get in the way of living life to its absolute fullest. It is a frank, funny and deeply moving story about living with cancer, but also of the life-changing power of friendship. It is inspired by Price’s own experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer aged 29.”
Price is a freelance food journalist and translator who writes for Condé Nast Traveller, National Geographic Traveller, Foodism and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
She said: “Single Bald Female began as a spark of an idea five years ago, and I’m so thrilled to have found such a perfect home for it at Pan Macmillan. Jayne and I clicked immediately over a shared love of women’s fiction and relationship-led TV shows, so I instinctively knew she was the right editor to take this on. I am so grateful to both Sophie and Jayne for their absolute faith and passion for this story since the beginning. I can’t wait to share it with the world.”
Osborne added: “From the very first pages of Single Bald Female, I knew this was a unique, unforgettable book – I adore it. Laura writes with a lightness of touch that makes this most difficult of subjects a humour-filled, hopeful and compulsively readable story. It is a book that women of all ages who have had experience of cancer in some way will relate to, but also every woman in her twenties or thirties whose life is refusing to follow the script! I am bursting with pride in welcoming Laura to the Pan Macmillan list, and I can’t wait for readers to meet Jess and Annabel, whose friendship will remain in hearts long after the final page is turned.”
Lambert commented: “In Jess and Annabel, Laura has effortlessly created two unforgettable and inspiring characters. Single Bald Female shows how far you can go when you stand tall in the face of adversity. I can’t wait to press it into as many hands as possible and can’t think of a better or more passionate champion than Jayne.”