Nine Eight Books was scooped up Fingers crossed: How music saved me from successthe “blindingly honest” memoir of Lush band member and founder Miki Berenyi.
Publishing director Pete Selby acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Jane Turnbull of the Jane Turnbull Literary Agency. The dissertation will be published in September.
Crossed fingers is an “incredible tale of a pioneering woman and a founding group delivered with the vivid emotional power of an accomplished storyteller,” the publisher said. Berenyi recounts her young life of international travel, frequent moves, and the imminent presence of her violent Nazi grandmother. She found solace in music with her school friend Emma Anderson and they formed Lush in 1988.
Alongside her personal life, Bereyni details her internal battles, the trials of being a woman in a “maddening” male world, and the struggle to find a happy medium between independent obscurity and international success. It also explores her complicated relationship with Anderson and addresses the suicide of her best friend and soul mate, band drummer Chris Acland.
Selby said: “When I first approached Miki about writing her autobiography, she pretty much laughed in my face, so I’m delighted that two years later she’s finished something. something fearless, funny and quite beautiful, which not only stands alongside the best memoir music, but it’s also one of the most evocative books I’ve read about dysfunctional childhood and the transition to adulthood. It’s a stunning autobiography that heralds Miki as a major literary talent.”
Berenyi added, “Memory tends to embellish the past and reshape it into something more palatable, but rummaging through my journals and photo albums, press clippings and tour itineraries brought back visceral experiences. I don’t want to be a drama queen but to relive the 30 years of this book. . . let’s just say it was emotional. The dysfunctional highs and lows of my childhood and teenage years (London, Windsor, Hungary, Japan, Los Angeles) prepared me for the chaos of being in a band and the eventual excess of a changing music industry. . My story speaks as much of a disrupted family life, of a childhood in ‘The 1970s, an adolescence in the ‘The 80s, the alienation, the friendship, the love, the sex, the self-destruction and the optimism when it comes to music – what it does, as much as what happened.
“There are shocking events, but this is not a memoir about misery. Bad things happen to everyone and it’s how you get through shit that I find important and interesting. I don’t document my life for people to marvel or marvel at, but invite them to experience the ups and downs and feel what it was like to experience that.