Simon & Schuster has acquired The War on Women: And the Brave Ones Who Fight Back by journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts.
S&S secured UK and Commonwealth rights from Caroline Michel at Peters Fraser & Dunlop for the book, dubbed a "gripping and visceral narrative", full of real-life stories of women fighting inequality throughout the world.
Lloyd-Roberts, "one of the most distinguished television journalists of her generation", was an award-winning BBC TV journalist who died in October 2015. She joined ITN in 1973 as a news trainee and was the UK's first female video-journalist to report alone from the outposts of the former Soviet Union, China and Iran. During her 30-year-long career she travelled the world and witnessed the worst atrocities inflicted on women.
In the book, she acts as a mouthpiece for such "brave" women and examines 'humankind's history". Examples are stories of those who have been imprisoned or involved in the sex trade. She also gives a voice to Maimouna, a woman who was responsible for taking over her mother’s role as the village female circumciser in The Gambia, and provides a platform for Manemma, an 11-year-old who was married off in Jaipur at the age of six. Issues explored in the book include the gender pay gap in the UK, forced marriage, rape as a weapon of war, and honour killings.
Senior commissioning editor for non fiction, Abigail Bergstrom said: "Working with Sue, you got the distinct impression that she could achieve more before breakfast than most people can in an entire week. The words ‘brave’ and ‘courageous’ seem to fall short in describing such a person, and whilst we are incredibly proud to be publishing her first and last book, we can’t help but be acutely aware that it will be a small and humble tribute to her boldness and the incredible life she led."
Sarah Morris, Sue Lloyd-Roberts’ daughter, said: "I am so proud of mum for writing this book and for all that she achieved in her life. It’s a brilliant example of her passion for giving a voice to the voiceless and exposing injustices around the world where they need uncovering. She was so angry at the way so many women suffer simply for being female. I hope this book goes some way to show readers the extent of the abuse she witnessed throughout her career against women from Dublin to Kashmir via Riyadh. I’m devastated she didn’t get to finish writing it or see it on the shelves but I feel honoured to be able to work with her editor at Simon & Schuster, Abigail Bergstrom on making The War on Women: And the Brave Ones Who Fight Back a lasting testament to my mother’s extraordinary career."
The War on Women: And the Brave Ones Who Fight Back will be published August 2016.