Here's a memoir we can't wait for — and apparently, the publishing world couldn't either. The 28-year-old goddaughter of photographer Nan Goldin, iO Tillett Wright, just scored a six-figure book deal for her New York City memoir in a major bidding battle among nine publishing houses.
Wright's 30-page proposal for the book, entitled Darling Days, caused quite a ruckus in the book world. The memoir tells the story of Wright's unorthodox coming-of-age along the eclectic streets of the East Village in '80s and '90s. In the end of the fight for the rights to the book, Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins came out on top with a reported $700,000 offer.
The former child actor, now self-taught photographer, was raised by a "fiercely protective, yet wildly negligent mother" on Manhattan's Lower East Side and spent a significant portion of her childhood masquerading as a boy — from shaving her head so that she could play basketball in elementary school to performing male roles onscreen. According to the Publisher's Marketplace deal demo, the memoir will detail this "odyssey of identity."
Wright says, however, that she never felt like she should've been born a boy; she was merely performing, an act she elaborates on in her 2012 TEDxWomen talk, "Fifty Shades of Gay." “Where I come from, if you weren’t a drag queen or a radical thinker or a performance artist of some kind, you were the weirdo,” she explains in the talk.
“It’s one of the great blessings of my very unorthodox childhood that I wasn’t ever asked to define myself as any one thing at any point — I was just allowed to be me, growing and changing in every moment,” she continues.
Michael McKenzie, senior director of publicity for Ecco, told Bedford + Bowery that Darling Days will likely be released next year. Here's the rest of Wright's essential TEDxWomen talk, which you should drop everything and watch now:
We could not be more excited for this memoir.