Transworld has snapped up the first book from Vogue columnist Nell Frizzell, The Panic Years: Dates, Doubts and the Mother of all Decisions, following a 13-way auction.
Commissioning editor Darcy Nicholson acquired UK and Commonwealth Rights excluding Canada, including ebook and audio from Jon Elek and Zoe Ross at United Agents. Rights have also been sold in North America (Flatiron). Transworld will publish in hardback, e-book and audio in May 2020.
The Panic Years "looks at the time in a woman’s life defined by decisions," reads the synopsis. "There will be decisions about work, love and friendship; about money, family and home; about sex, power and your body. All are wrought more urgent by the big decision, the mother of all decisions, the only decision that has a biological deadline; should you have a baby? It will pick up where the twenties memoirs end, before the parenting books begin, aiming to start a conversation about an experience that happens to all women but somehow still feels difficult to talk about openly."
Nicholson said: "Nell Frizzell is a master; her turn of phrase is simply genius, she will make you laugh and cry and she’ll put a warm arm around your shoulder, too. I am fiercely proud to be bringing The Panic Years to the Transworld list and simply itching to get it into readers’ hands next year."
Frizzell added: "This book is not a guide to finding the right man, getting your ideal job, learning to love yourself or how to raise a child. It is about what happens when you’re heading towards the grown up cutlery and matching sheets of adult life, and wondering if you should have a baby. It is about trying to establish a career before you are forced out on maternity leave, it is about wanting stability while your friendship group splinters into the parents and the not-parents, it is about fertility, gender inequality and social stigma. Oh, and it's funny. This seismic shift in our bodies, brains, friendships and careers isn't a personal crisis but a social phenomenon, we're all pulling through it together and can hopefully, with a common language, make it better."