Picador has acquired Your Life in My Hands, the diaries of junior doctor-turned-comedian Adam Kay, inspired by his Edinburgh Fringe show on the same topic.
Publishing director Francesca Main acquired world rights to the book in a deal struck with Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown, and the Pan Macmillan rights team will be taking the proposal to the London Book Fair in March.
Kay was a junior doctor from 2004 until 2010, before an experience on the ward caused him to reconsider his future. Your Life in My Hands is the product of a diary Kay kept throughout his training, interspersing tales from the front line of the NHS with reflections on the current crisis.
Main said: "I saw Adam’s Edinburgh show last summer and, along with the rest of the audience, spent the first 50 minutes in stitches and the final 10 in tears. I’m thrilled to be publishing the often hilarious, at times horrifying, and occasionally heart breaking Your Life in My Hands, which shines a light on the everyday heroism of junior doctors and shares a few secrets that will make your toes curl. Adam has a brilliant voice and a unique story to tell – this is the book David Sedaris might have written, if only he had spent six years in scrubs."
Kay said: "I couldn’t be more excited to be working with Picador on my first book. Francesca and the whole team are fantastic – it’s an absolute honour to be invited to bring the tone of their brand down so dramatically. Even if only one person reads it, that’s one more person who knows the truth about life as a junior doctor and one more voice who can stand up for the future of the NHS. Although if only one person reads the book, Picador will have made a catastrophic mistake in commissioning it."
Kay is a writer and script editor for TV and film. During his transition from doctor to writer he established himself as a musical comedian as frontman of Amateur Transplants, achieving great success and over 20m YouTube hits. His Edinburgh show will be playing at Soho Theatre for two weeks this spring.
Your Life In My Hands will be published by Picador in hardback on 7th September 2017.