Penguin Life triumphs at auction for Joi's 'deeply personal' memoir

Penguin Life triumphs at auction for Joi's 'deeply personal' memoir

Penguin Life has won a five-way auction for British Indian journalist Priya Joi's "powerful" memoir exploring race and motherhood. 

Martina O’Sullivan, publisher, bought world English rights from Nelle Andrew at Rachel Mills Literary Agency. The memoir is provisionally titled Are You Her Mother? and will be published in spring 2023. 

The book will be a "powerful" response to the absence of an inclusive and accessible blueprint for navigating life as a multifaceted mother. The publisher said: "Joi will interrogate this silence to provide a voice of understanding for all those who fall outside mainstream presentations of parenthood who have never seen themselves or their experiences represented. She will also consider how her personal and cultural identity intersect with motherhood and inform her identity as a parent, interrogating how multicultural parenting and our past continues to affect and challenge our futures."

Joi has worked as a science journalist for more than 20 years and has worked for organisations including the World Health Organisation, the Lancet and New Scientist.

She commented: "When you’re a parent of colour, as well as the emotional baggage we all carry from childhood, you are laden with complex issues of race and culture. But these aren’t just the problems of brown or Black people—opening up this discussion is key in contemporary culture. Penguin Life have a strong track record of showcasing diverse voices and they felt like the perfect fit."

O’Sullivan said: "This deeply personal and important memoir is the critical intervention we need to help move away from outmoded and racist depictions of motherhood. I see this as vital resource for mothers (and future mothers) of colour who simply never see themselves represented."