Viking acquires memoir about living with MS

Viking acquires memoir about living with MS

Viking has acquired a memoir about living with multiple sclerosis as a young father, The Inland Empire: Travels in Multiple Sclerosis by Christian Donlan.

Venetia Butterfield, publishing director at Viking, acquired world rights from Sam Copeland at RCW at a "hard-fought" auction.

In The Inland Empire Donlan details how his world started to shift soon after the birth of his daughter. He started to miss light switches and door handles when reaching for them and, as his symptoms worsened, was eventually diagnosed with MS. The diagnosis came at a point when his daughter was starting to discover the world around her, his struggles matching her development.  

The book is described as "a study of multiple sclerosis, the birth of neurology and the mysteries of the brain but, at its core, is a wise, moving and human look at the relationship between a father and a daughter".

Venetia Butterfield at Viking said: “I’m thrilled to be publishing this wonderful memoir, written with great wit and honesty. The Inland Empire teaches us about the nature of MS, neurology and, with a startling lack of self-pity, the seemingly impossible nature of living with an incurable disease. But most importantly it provides us with lessons on how to live.”

Dolan, who works as a journalist, said: “Four months after my daughter Leontine was born, I started to experience the bewildering early symptoms of this wilful, frightening and fascinating disease. Back then I knew almost nothing about multiple sclerosis - or parenting! I am really excited to have such a brilliant opportunity to write about the strange, intimate territory I have discovered over the last few years. I hope I can add something to the discussion around neurological diseases - and encourage a healthy curiosity into what happens when the bonds between the brain and the body start to fray.”

Copeland said: “I couldn’t be prouder to be part of Christian’s journey– he is a stunning writer, and this will be a beautiful and wise book. Venetia and the team at Viking will be the perfect home for The Inland Empire."