Sphere scoops 'vital' Lawton debut on racial identities

Sphere scoops 'vital' Lawton debut on racial identities

Sphere has scooped journalist Georgina Lawton’s "vital" debut Raceless: A Personal and Provocative Look at Racial Identities in Flux.

Editorial director Hannah Boursnell acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Zoe Ross at United Agents. It will be published in hardback, e-book and audio on 3rd September 2020. Sarah Ried at Harper Perennial acquired US rights from Alison Lewis at the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency on behalf of Zoe Ross.

The synopsis states: “In Georgina Lawton’s childhood home, her blackness was never acknowledged; the obvious fact of her mixed-race heritage was simply ignored. It was only when her beloved father died, when Georgina was just 22 years old, that the complex truth began to emerge. In the years since, Georgina has been on a personal journey to discover her own heritage and to connect with the black British culture she had no exposure to growing up. In doing so, she has found her own story mirrored in those of countless people of colour whose identity has been questioned, denied or erased. Raceless, Georgina’s first book, is both the compelling personal account of a young woman seeking her own story amid devastating family secrets, and a fascinating, challenging and essential examination of racial identity in modern Britain.”

Lawton, an ex-Guardian Weekend columnist, freelance journalist, speaker and writer, explained: "Raceless is my quest for identity in the face of secrets and societal stereotypes, and an examination of the experiences of those who have lived a life disconnected from their heritage or birth culture. It explores the complex stories of people of colour who have been misled about their roots, raised in exclusively white communities, denied truths about who they are, or had their identities challenged by DNA tests. It is an investigation into who I am, and the secrets that have prevented me from embracing a black and British identity, until now.”

Boursnell added: “I’m enormously proud to be publishing Raceless at Little, Brown. It is a true showcase of Georgina’s beautiful writing and honest storytelling and will be a vital addition to the essential conversation around race and identity in the UK.”