Quercus has pre-empted We, The Oppressors by Dr J Davy, a book about how "the infrastructures we live inside of have always been inadequate and unequal, designed to support and maintain the status of those in power at the expense of those without it".
Katy Follain, non-fiction publisher at Quercus, acquired world English rights from Nelle Andrew at Rebecca Mills Literary, and the book will be published in May 2022.
Described as an "important", "challenging" and "explosive" book, it opens with the social and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the official responses to the recent BLM protests, as Davy explains how these upheavals have highlighted a breakdown in systems which were designed to provide stability and support to society.
The book's synopsis reads: "We, The Oppressors explores the foundations on which our societies have been founded, spanning history and geographical location with illuminating and shocking examples, each one confirming the stark reality that our so-called progressive, democratic civilisation is rooted in deeply oppressive structures that disproportionately target marginalised communities. And the repercussions are enormous.
"Challenging and explosive, Dr Davy’s book will generate hugely important discussions about topics such as cultural heritage and appropriation, the importance of education and the imperative need for change."
Davy commented: "To start to understand oppression and its impact on our world we must first educate ourselves about the systems which sustain it and our own complicity in their development and survival. This book provides examples which explain how oppression operates in society, how it harms people, and how we, all of us, can learn to be better neighbours. I’m absolutely delighted to be working with Katy and the team on this book."
Follain said: "This was one of those proposals that got everybody at Quercus immediately fired up and excited—there was no way we weren’t going to be the publishers of We, The Oppressors. Dr Davy has the gift of articulating what so many of us are feeling right now—feelings of guilt, inadequacy and helplessness. I also love that there is a message of hope running throughout that is empowering. This is going to be a hugely seminal book."