Picador has acquired the memoir of a fatherless man trying to be a father to his transgender child.
Publisher Paul Baggaley acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for Fathers & Sons by Howard Cunnell from Patrick Walsh at Conville & Walsh on a partial manuscript.
Novelist Cunnell, whose books include The Sea on Fire (Picador), first tells the story of his own childhood, his search for his missing father and of how, in becoming a man, Cunnell at first gave in to anger and self-destruction. Later he was able to escape that cycle through his discovery of writing, his relationship with the natural world, and, most importantly, through love.
Then his daughter Jay realised that she was transgender, and as "she" became a "he", Cunnell tried to help Jay avoid the destructiveness he himself experienced when growing up as a man.
Baggaley said: “There are some stories that could only be written by one person, and this book reflects Howard’s unique experience and singular talent. I am convinced that Fathers & Sons, a beautifully-written and deeply moving memoir, will be one of the most thought-provoking, timely and important books that Picador will publish.“
Walsh at Conville & Walsh said: “The writer Howard Cunnell is one of the toughest and softest people whom I know - any son would be proud to have him as a father, and the reverse all the more so. The partial on which we sold this book promises an extraordinary literary memoir which I’m sure will win prizes”.
Picador will publish Fathers & Sons in early 2017.