Julia Baird

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book | Non-Fiction | May 2021
ANZ → HarperCollins (Ed. Catherine Milne)
US → Random House (Ed. Kate Medina)
UK → William Collins (Ed. Grace Pengelly)

On Awe, Wonder and The Things That Sustain You When The World Goes Dark

This stunning, deeply personal memoir is an exploration of what can sustain us through our darkest moments—from the New York Times op-ed contributor and author of Victoria: The Queen

After surviving a difficult heartbreak and battle with cancer, acclaimed author and columnist Julia Baird began thinking deeply about how she and others persevere through the most challenging circumstances. She began to wonder, when our world goes dark, when we are overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, tragedy outside our control, how can we survive, stay alive, and even bloom? So she went in search of "the magic that will sustain us and fuel the light within—our own phosphorescence.” Phosphorescence is a natural phenomenon that allows some creatures—glow worms, fireflies, flashlight fish, even entire oceans—to give off light amidst darkness.

Inspired by their simple beauty, Baird writes about the things that lit her way through the darkness: a connection to nature, friendships, her faith, her mother's example, deliberately experiencing awe and wonder, and other habits that changed her life. She also explores how others nurture their inner light, interviewing the founder of the modern forest therapy movement in Tokyo, a jellyfish scientist in Tasmania, and a tattooed priest from Colorado, among others. Weaving together candid and moving memoir with deep research and reflections on nature, Baird inspires readers to embrace new habits and adopt a phosphorescent outlook on life, to illuminate ourselves and our days—even in the darkest times.


Helen Manders manages the translation rights for Phosphorescence

Amanda Urban
+1 212 556 5600
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Karolina Sutton
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Translation Rights
Helen Manders
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Helen Manders