Virago will publish a graphic memoir by illustrator Eleanor Crewes on her journey towards coming out.
Sarah Savitt acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to The Times I Knew I Was Gay from Anna Power at Johnson & Alcock and Virago will publish in summer 2020. North American rights were pre-empted by Valerie Steiker at Scribner.
Its synopsis explains: “The Times I Knew I Was Gay is a tender, funny and hugely relatable memoir about the author’s long, conflicted journey to come out as gay. From her first communion to her first girlfriend via a swathe of self-denial, Buffy, Art College and Tinder, it will ring true for any reader who felt different as a child without quite knowing why, or who took time to discover who they truly are.”
The memoir began as a series of zines Crewe self-published in 2017. It later became a fully-fledged book, released by Good Comics last year. Rose Tomaszewska, covering Savitt’s parental leave, will work with Crewes to expand the memoir and bring it to a wider audience in 2020.
Tomaszewska, who joined as senior commissioning editor in June, explained: “Sarah acquired this shortly before going on parental leave so it was the first thing I read on my first day at Virago. Eleanor’s disarming drawings struck an immediate chord; their vulnerability and honesty can’t fail to make you smile in recognition. It’s a rare joy that I can’t wait to share.”
Crewes added: “When I started making my zines in 2016 I never would have imagined that my story would be supported by a publisher like Virago. They are a publishing house whose legacy and authors I admire so much and I am thrilled to be working with them.”
Power said: “Eleanor has had such a positive response to her beautiful and refreshingly different coming out story which she self-published last year. She used to bike copies round comic book shops in London, so it’s brilliant that she’s now working with Virago on a new enhanced version of her memoir. I’m so excited for new readers to discover her work.”