Transworld Publishers has bought The Life of Stuff by Susannah Walker, a memoir in which she pieces together her mother’s life story and makes sense of their troubled relationship through her mother’s hoarded possessions.
UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired from Judith Murray at Greene & Heaton.
The book tells the story of how Walker discovered the full extent of the hoarding only after her mother’s death last year. While sorting through her dilapidated house, she finds herself in search of a woman she had never really known.
Andrea Henry, editorial director at Transworld, said it was a "deeply personal story" also with "a wonderful detective story" at its heart. "Through her mother’s hoarded possessions – photos, papers and an extraordinary amount of stuff – Walker raises all sorts of questions about who we are. What do our possessions say about us? Why do we project such meaning on to them? What turns us from someone who simply enjoys having objects around them into someone who hoards uncontrollably? Walker’s complex, deeply personal story has hugely universal themes, and she handles its telling with real dexterity," she said.
Murray at Greene & Heaton, said: "As soon as I read it, I fell in love with Susannah’s fascinating and moving memoir about mourning her mother through telling the stories of the possessions she hoarded; and I am thrilled that Andrea Henry and her colleagues at Transworld also have fallen in love with this beautifully written and insightful account of experiences that all of us go through – the death of one’s parents and the shoring up of possessions against the losses and griefs that we encounter in life. And I am sure that Andrea and her team at Transworld will publish The Life of Stuff with all their customary style, passion and professionalism."
The Life of Stuff will be published by Doubleday in hardback in spring 2018.