Quercus will publish YouTube star Jonathan Joly’s childhood memoir, All My Friends are Invisible.
Non-fiction publisher Katy Follain bought world rights from Jenny Heller at Robertson Murray. All My Friends Are Invisible will be published in February 2022.
The blurb reads: “Growing up in conservative 1980s Dublin, where there was little tolerance for children who were ‘different’, Jonathan Joly was indeed a different sort of child: creative, expressive, and – on the inside – a girl. The limitations of the people around him to understand his differences led to years of tyrannical bullying and abuse, forcing him to withdraw within himself to the point of clinical absence. His only chance for survival was the inner world he created for himself, rich with loving and supportive friends and playmates, that only he could see. Jonathan’s invisible friends were his lifeline, and have remained with him to this day.”
Quercus said: “This extraordinary and beautifully-written childhood memoir is not only an important, thought-provoking and exhilarating read, it provides hope and community for all those who have ever felt ‘other’, and proves how vital it is to provide children with the safe space to be themselves, the absence of which can have dire consequences.
"In All My Friends are Invisible, Jonathan Joly shares the secret he’s kept hidden these many years.”
Joly was born in Dublin in 1980 and was sent to a school for children with emotional difficulties. In 2009 he and Anna Saccone started creating YouTube videos about their lives from their small flat in Cork, Ireland. Over the next 12 years, as the couple married, had children and moved to the UK, they became one of YouTube’s most well-known families. Across their social channels they now have over seven million devoted followers and friends. All My Friends Are Invisible is Jonathan’s first book.
Joly said: "This is the book I've wanted to write for so long. I am grateful to Quercus for giving me the safe space in which to do so, and I hope that in telling my story I'm able to help others, too.”
Follain said: “From the moment Jonathan talked to me about his invisible friends who helped him through his difficult childhood, I was both intrigued and mesmerised. When he told me more about his son Eduardo, and his decision to wear dresses, I was also struck by how much his story would resonate with so many readers, from young adults to parents, and everyone else in between. The book is exquisitely written, layered, deep, intense but also funny and warm. I can’t wait for people to dive into this book and discover Jonathan’s world, and be moved as I was by his words.”