Canongate triumphs in five-way auction for Jordan Stephens' 'game-changing' memoir

'Canongate has triumphed in a five-way auction for a “game-changing” memoir on ADHD and masculinity from writer and one half of the chart-topping duo Rizzle Kicks, Jordan Stephens. 

Publisher-at-large Francis Bickmore acquired world English language rights to Avoidance, Drugs, Heartbreak and Dogs from Zoe Ross of United Agents. Canongate will publish in August 2024. TV rights were sold to Watford & Essex after a seven-way auction.  

The synopsis says: “Diagnosed twice with ADHD, Jordan Stephens found his teens and 20s a whirl of career success and nurturing friendships but also a brutal pattern of self-harm, hedonism, destructive coping mechanisms and heartbreak. When he tried to live up to his own damaged expectations and his world exploded, he stepped away from his previous existence completely and allowed himself to explore the pain he’d repressed his entire life. 

“Unsparingly digging into the fear, tenderness and trauma he carried in his body and mind, and the confusing assumptions of what a young man should be, Jordan Stephens discovers what it means to be a man, why we should all open ourselves up to life, and how the price we pay for love in all its forms is worth it.” 

Stephens said: “Hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m glad I have. I’ve written what I wished there was more of. The dream is for the words to outlive me. Thank you to my agents and Canongate for getting on board with the way I wanted to write and encouraging it.” 

Bickmore added: “Jordan writes with his heart on his sleeve and his sights set on the full unguarded truth. Written with electrifying style and unflinching candour, this is one man’s journey through the stereotypes of gender and the superpowers and super-perils of living with ADHD. This is a welcome addition to the canon of memoirs exploring how to stay sane in a maddening world. Fasten your seatbelts, Jordan pulls no punches.” '

[The Bookseller] 

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