Viv Groskop's "literary self-help memoir" inspired by the Russian classics has been acquired at auction by Penguin General imprint Fig Tree.
Juliet Annan, publishing director of Fig Tree, acquired world English rights to The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons from Russian Literature, by Groskop, from Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown.
Groskop is the author of I Laughed, I Cried (Orion, 2013), an award-winning comedian ("Say Sorry to the Lady" and "Be More Margo"), an agony aunt for The Pool and a regular contributor to The Guardian, Observer, Mail on Sunday, Red Magazine, Front Row, Woman’s Hour and Newsnight.
The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons from Russian Literature is a tongue-in-cheek guide that will use the Russian Classics to find "the answer to life", with examples from the author’s own life that reflect the lessons of literature. Fig Tree describe it "like a cross between Ben Crystal’s Shakespeare on Toast (Icon) and Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck (Black Swan)". It will be published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution in October 2017.
Groskop said: “I fell in love with the Russian classics in my teenage years and have turned back to them regularly in times of crisis. They can’t solve every problem in life. There’s no mention of a cure for head lice, for example, which I caught repeatedly from a Ukrainian boyfriend when I was living in St Petersburg during the Yeltsin era. But they do have an answer to all the big questions from love and marriage to depression and mortality.”
Annan said: “I’ve always enjoyed Viv’s writing – she is one the funniest writers around, and this book will combine her powers of empathy and her warm wit brilliantly."