Orion imprint Seven Dials has landed journalist and systems engineer Ipsita Agarwal’s feminist account of how Indian scientists sent a rocket to Mars.
Publisher Amanda Harris acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for With a Whistle in the Dark from Hayley Steed at Madeleine Milburn Agency.
The book, to be published on 12th November 2020, follows the true story of the female scientists who ran 2013 Mars orbiter mission Mangalyaan, India’s first interplanetary launch.
“Until then, it was NASA and its scientists in crisp white shirts whose stories of scientific ingenuity had been told,” the publisher said. “Here was this modern example of exemplary science and here were its scientists in checked shirts and silk sarees. Hidden Figures told a story of black women who helped send a man to orbit Earth in the 60s, in a time when rockets were fast but advancement was held back by racial segregation. Today’s hidden figures can be found in India.”
Harris said: “Ipsita is a wonderful writer and will bring to life this incredible story of women smashing through gender stereotyping and dreaming big.”
Agarwal said: “It's such an honour and joy to be working on a story of some truly incredible women and their science. Writing is anything but a solitary pursuit, and I'm thrilled that this book found its home at Orion, with Amanda and the whole team there. I also consider myself lucky to have such support for my work with Hayley and the team at the wonderfully warm Madeleine Milburn Agency. I can't wait to see where this project takes us all next.”