W&N buys cycling book by Profile's Hannah Ross

Rights - NonFiction Friday, 14 September 2018

Ross, publicity director at Profile, has written 'a celebration of women and cycling' with deals secured on both sides of the Atlantic

In separate American and British auctions conducted by Patrick Walsh at PEW Literary, Jenny Lord at Weidenfeld & Nicolson UK and Katie Zaborsky at the Plume imprint of Penguin Random House America have each won rights to Revolutions: How Women Changed the World on Two Wheels by Hannah Ross. The book will be published in hardback and ebook in Spring 2020.

According to the acquisition statement: 'Simone de Beauvoir borrowed her lover’s bike to cycle around Paris in the 1940s, instantly falling in love with the freedom it gave her (even when an accident caused her to lose a tooth). Alice Hawkins, a factory worker from Leicester, pedal-powered her fight for universal suffrage as the bicycle became a cornerstone of her work to recruit women to the cause. Annie "Londonderry" Kopchovsky, was a 24-year-old Latvian immigrant living in Boston, who in 1894 became the first woman to cycle around the world. She took up the challenge, despite never having ridden a bike before, after two men bet that a woman couldn’t do it. In fact, Annie arrived back home ahead of schedule.

'Many of these women were told they couldn't or shouldn’t cycle, but they did so anyway. Whether winning medals or spreading the word about votes for women, their stories are an inspiration. In Revolutions, Hannah Ross will introduce us to the women who are part of the rich and varied history of cycling, many of whom have been pushed to the margins or forgotten. A gloriously celebratory book, Revolutions is for anyone who would rather pedal the streets than pound them, and those who are curious about life on a bike.'

Ross said: "My first job was at W&N, so it’s incredibly exciting – and slightly surreal – that I’m returning to the company as an actual author. First-hand experience means that I know that they will do an excellent job publishing my book. I have also admired so many of the books Jenny has acquired, so I’m truly honoured that she wanted to buy my book. And to be published by Katie at Plume in the US is the icing on the cake. Revolutions is a global story, and the US has a particularly important role in the history of cycling, so I’m glad this book will reach readers there. I’m really looking forward to sharing inspirational stories of women who cycle with more readers – helping reclaim the story of cycling for women – and hopefully inspiring many of them to get on two wheels as well."

Lord said: "When it comes to books about cycling, women are wildly under-represented, so it was a joy to read Hannah’s passionate and playful proposal. Revolutions will be both an illuminating, compelling history and the perfect inspirational gift for anyone who prefers life on two wheels."

Zaborsky said: "Plume is a champion of smart, feminist books, and I’m thrilled to be publishing Hannah Ross in America. With its global perspective and energetic narrative, Revolutions will inspire and embolden women cyclists of all levels across the world."

The author is a dedicated cyclist, who, as well as commuting by bike, spends most weekends riding with her club and thinks nothing of cycling across the Alps. She also volunteers for a charity helping refugee women in London learn to ride bikes. Profile itself is a company of enthusiastic cyclists, from the top down - md Andrew Franklin cycles to work each day, and the company has a cycling imprint.

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