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HarperCollins acquires ‘This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch’

HarperCollins Australia has acquired ANZ rights to This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch, an ‘irrepressibly clever and uplifting book about the role of joy in women’s lives’ by Canberra writer Tabitha Carvan, in a deal brokered by Catherine Drayton of Inkwell Management.

‘Whip smart, witty, insightful, clever and wholly persuasive’ the book is about ‘what happens to women’s passions after we leave adolescence, about how the space for joy in our lives is squeezed ever smaller as we age, and why’, said HarperCollins in a statement.  ‘More importantly, it’s about what happens if you subvert that narrative and simply love something like you used to.’

Drawing on her experience of unexpectedly falling for British actor Cumberbatch, Carvan’s book ‘challenges the reader to stop instinctively resisting the possibility of experiencing pleasure, with a clarion rallying cry: find your thing, whatever it may be, and love it like your life depends on it’.

‘I was a new mother stuck at home with two young children when, seemingly against my will, I fell in love with the British actor Benedict Cumberbatch. This was very confusing, and deeply embarrassing, and I can’t believe I’m now writing a book about it!’, said Carvan, adding that ‘not even my wildest dreams could have prepared me for [publisher] Catherine Milne’s level of enthusiasm for the project!’

Milne said she was ‘over the moon to be publishing Tabitha. She is speaking to a truth that many, many women know instinctively, but haven’t quite articulated to themselves: that many of us have lost touch with some essential part of ourselves, the part that allows us to feel unalloyed joy. Her writing reminds me in part of Jon Ronson, Caitlin Moran and Lisa Taddeo–but for all these comparisons, she is gloriously herself.’

Carvan is a science writer for the Australian National University and freelance features writer whose work has appeared in publications including Crikey, Junkee, Overland and MamaMia.

This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch will be published in March 2022.

Author image credit: James Walsh


Category: Local news Rights and acquisitions