Pan Mac wins Joe Biden memoir

Pan Mac wins Joe Biden memoir

Pan Macmillan has won an auction to publish the memoir of former US vice president Joe Biden in the UK. 

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose will be published in November 2017. The one-book deal for UK and Commonwealth rights was done with Macmillan US division Flatiron Books for an undisclosed sum. 

It follows the deal that was struck by Flatiron Books with CAA on behalf of the Bidens in April, speculated to be worth $8m to the Bidens, in which Flatiron acquired two non-fiction works by Biden, plus a third book to be co-written with his wife, Dr Jill Biden. According to a Pan Macmillan spokesperson, it will be considering buying rights to other books by the Bidens as more material becomes available.

Promise Me, Dad will chronicle the "momentous and challenging" year which saw Biden's eldest son, Beau, fight for and lose his life to a malignant brain tumour cancer at the age of 46. At the time Biden was forced to balance "the twin imperatives of living up to his responsibilities to his country and his responsibilities to his family".

According to Pan Macmillan, the book is written not just by the vice president, but by "a father, grandfather, friend, and husband", telling "a story of how family and friendships sustain us and how hope, purpose, and action can guide us through the pain of personal loss into the light of a new future".

Its title stems from a conversation between Biden and Beau, 15 months after his diagnosis at Thanksgiving in November 2014. "Promise me, Dad," Beau had told his father. "Give me your word that no matter what happens, you’re going to be all right." 

Publisher Robin Harvie said: "Promise Me, Dad is a devastating memoir, not only because of the story it tells, but also for the story that it doesn't tell – what the world might have looked like with Joe Biden as President, a world defined by compassion, understanding and respect. It also reminded me Joan Didion's extraordinary The Year of Magical Thinking, and like that memoir I can see that it will be a book that I, and other readers, will return to again and again for strength and inspiration."

Biden is also the author of 2007 memoir Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics (Random House)