Viking has scooped The Book of Hope from conservationist Dr Jane Goodall and author Douglas Abrams in a multi-publisher auction.
Editorial director Tom Killingbeck acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein on behalf of Idea Architects and Adrian Sington at Kruger Cowne. It will be published in September 2021. US rights were sold to Jamie Raab at Celadon Books/Macmillan.
The publisher explained: “In The Book of Hope Dr Jane Goodall, one of the world's most famous living conservationists, and Douglas Abrams, co-author of the international bestseller The Book of Joy join forces to explore one of the most sought after and least understood elements of human nature. Weaving together memoir, travelogue and lessons from Dr Goodall’s extraordinary life experience, the book will explore the idea that not only is there hope for humanity, but hope itself is one of our greatest survival strategies.”
Goodall is founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a UN Messenger of Peace who first came to prominence with her work on chimpanzees after a 1960 visit to the forests of Gombe in what is now Tanzania. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last year, she has been compiling research for six decades, writing numerous books and appearing in countless films and documentaries.
She said: “The printed word remains one of the most potent ways of transmitting ideas and changing minds. The greatest danger to our future is apathy and so it’s brilliant to partner with Viking to bring the invigorating messages of hope in this book that will help us all understand what needs to be done. Because as I have said many times only if we understand will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved.”
Abrams is an author, editor and literary agent who co-wrote The Book of Joy (Hutchinson) with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. He has also worked with other Nobel Laureates including Nelson Mandela, Jody Williams, and Elizabeth Blackburn, alongside scientists such as Professor Stephen Hawking.
He said: “It has been a long-held dream of mine to work with Dr Jane Goodall, and I can think of no better time in the world to offer The Book of Hope. We look forward to working with Viking to create a climate of hope and possibility.”
Killingbeck said: “It’s not often you have the opportunity to publish someone who shaped how you see the world. Dr Goodall is not only one of the world’s most celebrated scientists, but a beacon of light in the darkening Anthropocene. This book will face the climate crisis head on, drawing on a lifetime’s experience with nature to point a way forward for the future. I look forward to working with Dr Goodall and Douglas to bring this luminous message to readers young and old.”