Quercus has acquired Instructions for the British People During the Emergency, authored by Jason Hazeley, who co-wrote the Ladybird Books for Grown-ups series, and comedy writer and actor Nico Tatarowicz.
The book, hastily issued by the Department of Unforeseen Circumstances, is a tongue-in-cheek spoof of the Instructions for British Servicemen series that was published by the Foreign Office in 1944 to motivate the British troops.
According to Quercus' synopsis for the book: "This modern humorous guide to the new normal we are going through as a country adopts a similar no-nonsense tone, addressing such issues as parenting, staying healthy, working from home and dealing with your urges during The Emergency."
It will be published in e-book on 7th May and in hardback on 11th June 2020.
Commissioned in March, Katy Follain, non-fiction publisher at Quercus, bought world rights from Stephanie Thwaites at Curtis Brown and Sarah Williams as the Sophie Hicks Agency.
Follain said: "When we went into lockdown, we felt that readers’ needs would change dramatically, and that the opportunity to laugh—as witnessed by the thousands of memes circulating on twitter and WhatsApp groups—would be more welcome than ever. Enter Jason and Nico, who have written this book in lightning speed. It was very important to keep the humour tasteful and sensitive, given the tragic circumstances that have led to the lockdown, and that is something they have achieved beautifully. The result is a feel-good, hilarious and topical delight."
Hazeley and Tatarowicz said in a joint statement: "As writers, we’re used to being stuck at home, and we lost our marbles years ago. But it’s new to most people, and they might want some reassurance that if they start naming their radiators or establishing a currency based on pasta, these are the normal reactions of someone who is marooned indoors with way too much time for their own daft thoughts."