Picador has scooped a history of the Sackler dynasty from Say Nothing (William Collins) author Patrick Radden Keefe.
Editor in chief Ravi Mirchandani acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty from Matilda Forbes Watson at WME. Billed as a “a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling”, Picador will publish in hardcover in May 2021. The e-book and audio editions will be published in the UK simultaneously with Doubleday’s hardcover release in the US in April 2021.
The publisher explained: “The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions—the National Gallery, the British Museum, Oxford and Harvard universities, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre, among many others. The Sacklers are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish philanthropy in the arts and the sciences. But the sources of the family fortunes have been far less visible, as has their ownership of Purdue Pharma, the company responsible for developing and aggressively marketing OxyContin, the blockbuster painkiller that has played so crucial a role in the opioid crisis, an epidemic in which more Americans have perished than in all the wars since World War II.”
The author an award-winning staff writing at the New Yorker and is the author of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, winner of the 2018 Orwell Prize and the US National Book Critics’ Circle Award.
Mirchandani commented: “Patrick Radden Keefe is not only one of the finest investigative journalists in the English-speaking world, he is also a tremendous writer and storyteller. Reminiscent by turns of Bad Blood, 'Mad Men', 'Succession' and The Godfather, Empire of Pain is shocking, tragic and utterly unputdownable.”