Simon & Schuster UK has acquired a "follow-up memoir" from writer and journalist Poorna Bell.
Nicki Crossley, commissioning editor for non-fiction, has bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Rowan Lawton at Furniss Lawton.
In 2015 Bell became a widow after her husband took his own life, having battled depression and addiction. Her situation was unusual when compared to a lot of people her age, but she was left figuring out exactly the same things: will she find love again, and who will rescue her from her sadness? This was the basis of her first memoir Chase the Rainbow which was published by S&S in May 2017.
Two years on and Bell is rebuilding her life. And it is from this place – as she works towards choosing what she does and doesn’t want from society, that she will explore a different conversation around fulfillment and self-worth. Cutting across remote and busy landscapes in India, New Zealand and Britain, Bell explores the things endemic in our society such as sadness and loneliness, to unpick why we seek other people to fix what’s inside of us.
Part memoir, part self-help, In Search of Silence is the recognition of the echo chamber we find ourselves in, in terms of what constitutes a successful, fulfilling life. "This is a heartfelt, deeply personal journey which asks us all to switch off the noise of the status quote to help us to define what ‘happiness’ truly means," said the publisher.
Bell said: "It struck me, as I was trying to rebuild my life, that despite having immense freedom in the Western world to live how we want, that we still stick to such narrow ideals of what constitutes a successful or happy life. I realised a lot of people – married or not, with children or not – are faced with intense expectations and pressure that aren't even sometimes things we want from ourselves. Perhaps I have realised this because death is so uncompromising in its lesson of teaching you about the precious nature of time, but this book is about asking the right questions so that at the end of it, you've led the honest, happy life you wanted, not the life someone else wanted for you."
Crossley says: "Chase the Rainbow was a vital contribution to the mental health debate and I am so proud to be working with Poorna again to publish her follow-up memoir. This promises to be an equally candid, raw and moving book which will remind us all that we don’t have to follow the herd to be happy."