William Collins has bought a memoir by Tanya Frank investigating her son’s schizoaffective disorder, extended from a New York Times feature which generated an “extraordinary response” from readers.
Assistant commissioning editor Grace Pengelly acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Emma Finn at C&W. Zig-Zag Boy will be published in spring 2021.
The memoir, developed from the feature "Unmoored by a Psychotic Break", will detail the life-changing experience of caring for a teenager with psychosis and highlight the ways in which mental disorders forever alter the relationship between mother and son.
Frank explained: “For the longest time I couldn’t tell anyone that my son had schizoaffective disorder. I thought it might be my fault, or that if I simply stayed quiet, it might go away like a common cold. Then I realised how isolated I had become, and I began to speak. I feel privileged to share my journey, to show what it means to grieve a loved one who is still alive, and to expose the collateral damage of a broken mental health system.”
Pengelly said: “I cannot wait to publish Tanya’s remarkable memoir, which showcases her brilliance as a writer and her enduring bravery as a mother. Zig-Zag Boy invites readers to witness the shocking fallout of her son Zach’s psychotic break, accompanying Tanya as she tries to piece together the mystery of his illness. Readers of David Sheff’s Beautiful Boy and The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink will be absorbed by her impassioned inquiry into the human condition.”