Rabia Chaudry is writing an insider account of the case of Adnan Syed, a case she brought to the attention of "Serial", the weekly podcast that captivated millions.
The book, bought by Century, tells the story of Syed who was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend over 15 years ago when he was aged just 17. It is woven with personal reflections from Syed himself and includes letters he wrote from prison.
The book's author has stood by Syed since his conviction in 1999, maintaining his innocence and working with his family and legal team in pursuit of justice. In 2013, after they’d exhausted almost all appeals, Chaudry contacted podcast producer Sarah Koenig in the hope of finding a journalist who would bring greater attention to Syed’s case. Koenig’s investigation subsequently turned into the podcast "Serial" - which amassed over 68m downloads.
Syed said: “The first letter I received after being arrested in 1999 was from Rabia. Since that time until now, she has believed in my innocence and been committed to my exoneration. There have been appeal hearings in which she is the only other person other than my mother who showed up. Rabia, Saad, and their family are one of the only families that never forgot me. Over the years they never stopped visiting me, taking my calls, sending me letters and books, and praying for me. As someone connected to me, my family, my community, my lawyers, and my investigation, there is no one better to help tell my story, and no one that I trust more to tell it, than Rabia.”
Chaudry is an attorney and the cohost of “Undisclosed”, a podcast that discusses the case of the State vs. Adnan Syed from a legal perspective. Since the final "Undisclosed" podcast in August, Syed’s case has since been reopened on 6th November by a Maryland judge, which ruling will be covered in the book.
Chaudry said: “In the nearly 17 years, half of his life, that Adnan has spent in prison, he has had no voice. He has been at the mercy of others to tell his story, to make his case, to plead his innocence. But even as others did so, his voice was never fully present, his perspective never completely represented. It gives me immense joy and relief to finally be able to help tell his story, including his own words, and the story of his family, and community, Serial, Undisclosed, and the phenomenal, global attention that has moved him closer to an exoneration.”
Francesca Pathak, Century, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Adnan’s Story: Murder, Justice, and The Case That Captivated a Nation from Anna Carmichael at Abner Stein on behalf of Lauren Abramo at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.
Pathak said: “We are thrilled to be publishing Adnan’s Story, as the whole office was absolutely hooked on "Serial" and desperate to find out more about the case. Rabia has a wealth of information, and thanks to Adnan’s full participation and support, will really bring his story to life, whilst trying to find out the truth of what happened to Hae.”
The new book will be a Century hardcover for publication in Autumn 2016.