Jenny Lord, Publisher of Weidenfeld & Nicolson, acquired World rights in DOG’S BEST FRIEND: HOW HUMANS AND DOGS FORMED THE STRONGEST BOND IN HISTORY plus a second title from Rosemary Scoular at United Agents.
Dogs and humans: in the last 200 years no inter-species relationship has developed so fast nor come so far. If you own or once owned a dog, you will know that our relationship is a rich, diverse, perplexing and complicated one – as rich, diverse, perplexing and complicated as the relationship we have with other humans. At the core of this book is one leading question: how did we get from hunting with the Eurasian wolf (among other species of Canis lupus), to going to the cinema with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (among other species of Canis lupus familiaris)? The journey is cultural and scientific, and takes us to Australia, Japan, the United States and, almost inevitably, the Birmingham NEC.
DOG’S BEST FRIEND is about our changing relationship with dogs over the centuries, and a celebration of their intelligence, curiosity, utility and loyalty. It will begin with ancient rock art, but soon afterwards we’ll be at the Palace with Corgis and at an ill-starred Poodle show in Las Vegas. And shortly after that we’ll be weightless with the thirty-two dogs from the Soviet space programme, and in the lab at MIT sequencing the first dog genome. DOG’S BEST FRIEND is as entertaining as it is informative, as absurd as it is historically accurate – all told with the wit and charm of one of our best writers of alternative histories.
Jenny Lord says: ‘Simon is one of the most curious chroniclers of our times with an unrivalled talent for sniffing out the most delicious stories on any subject. In DOG’S BEST FRIEND he turns his nose to our canine companions, to tell the joyful, fascinating and unusual story of one of the most important relationships in human history. I cannot imagine a more pleasing combination of author and subject’
Simon Garfield says: ‘I’m delighted to finally have a chance to write about my favourite animal and lifelong companions. I’ve lived with dogs since I was a boy, and have always found them intriguing, entertaining and hugely rewarding to be with. Hopefully the book reflects these attributes and captures the essential reasons why we’ve loved dogs through the centuries. And I’m thrilled that Jenny Lord and the great team at Weidenfeld share my enthusiasms.’
This will be Simon Garfield’s twentieth book. His previous titles include the international bestsellers JUST MY TYPE, ON THE MAP and MAUVE, while TO THE LETTER was one of the inspirations for the theatre shows Letters Live with Benedict Cumberbatch. His study of AIDS in Britain, THE END OF INNOCENCE, won the Somerset Maugham prize.
DOG’S BEST FRIEND by Simon Garfield will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in hardback and ebook in August 2020.
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