William Collins has acquired an "unflinching" account of war through women’s eyes by journalist Christina Lamb, exploring "how rape became a weapon of mass destruction".
Arabella Pike of William Collins acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in My Body, Your Battlefield in what was described as a "significant" new deal negotiated by literary agent David Godwin. North American rights have been acquired by Kathryn Belden at Scribner. North American and translation rights are being handled by Susanna Lea Associates.
The book looks at the "exponential" growth in stories of brutality against women from across the world, some of which Lamb said shocked her more profoundly than anything she has seen in her 30-year career as a war correspondent.
Motivated by the fact that "if it is terrible to remember, it is far more terrible to forget", according to William Collins, Lamb’s book will restore voices to the thousands of women brutalised by war rape and sexual slavery, seeking to understand: why this is happening, what can be done about it and the incredible people who are trying to make a difference.
Pike predicted it would be "a hugely important book". "Told with equal amounts of compassion and fury, the book will amplify the voices of the women and girls who have suffered brutality in war and be published to bring about change as the start of a campaign of recognition and justice," she added.
Lamb said: "In all my years of covering war this is the hardest and most important subject I have ever reported on. We don’t seem to be able to end wars anymore, but, even when we do, for these women their suffering will never end. If we don’t face up to this we can’t change things. I have never felt more strongly that these stories need to be told."
Publication is scheduled for 2019.