Wildfire has acquired journalist Daniel Lavelle’s first book, Down and Out, following an eight-way bidding auction.
The book is a work of investigative journalism and "a state-of-the-nation look at homelessness in modern Britain". It follows the Guardian's Empty Doorway series on homelessness that Lavelle co-authored with Simon Hattenstone.
Commissioning editor Ella Gordon bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Matthew Turner at the RCW Literary Agency, and will publish in hardback, trade paperback, e-book and audio in summer 2022.
She said: "As someone who was left devastated by Daniel’s stunning Empty Doorway series, my heart leapt when his proposal landed in my inbox. Down and Out is truly one of the most exciting, galvanising pieces of work I’ve come across; Daniel’s personal insight into this crisis is illuminating, and he writes with fierceness and clarity. Books like this do not come along very often, and I really believe it will have a big impact when it hits shelves."
Lavelle is a freelance feature writer who received the Guardian’s 2017 Hugo Young award for an opinion piece on his experience of homelessness.
He said: "With this book I have a rare opportunity to transform the many difficult experiences I’ve had over the years into something positive that will hopefully make a difference. Alongside my personal experiences, Down and Out will tell the stories of others, explore institutional failings that have precipitated rising destitution in the UK and discuss realistic solutions to this growing crisis.
"Choosing a publisher was tough, but I was bowled over by the enthusiasm that Wildfire showed for the project. Ella and I share a sense of urgency for these issues and I’m thrilled to be working with such an attentive and passionate editor."