Avery Books, a Penguin Random House nonfiction imprint focused on wellness and health, has acquired North American rights to The Book of Joy: Finding Enduring Happiness In an Uncertain World, a book that will be produced by the Dalai Lama and South African archbishop Desmond Tutu, in collaboration with Doug Abrams, who will conduct interviews and co-write the book. U.S. rights were acquired by Avery editor-in-chief Caroline Sutton in a deal brokered by Abrams of Idea Architects; the Mary Clemmey Literacy Agency sold U.K. and Commonwealth rights to Jocasta Hamilton at Hutchinson/Cornerstone/Penguin Random House.
The production of the book will feature an historic meeting between the two men, April 20-24, in Dharamsala, India that will also mark the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday and allow the two spiritual leaders to spend a week sharing their perspectives on the topic of joy. Indeed, in order to share this experience more broadly with the rest of the world, the two leaders will use their Facebook pages to let readers around the globe ask questions about the path to joy and a meaningful life.
The best questions left on their Facebook pages will be compiled into a list and readers will be able to vote on their favorites. The winning questions will be answered by the Dalai Lama and the archbishop and video footage of those discussions will be shared with the world after the meeting.
Archibishop Tutu’s Facebook page is live now and the Dalai Lama’s page will be available shortly. An Avery spokesperson said the Facebook pages for both men will feature an app that will allow visitors to ask questions about achieving joy and happiness. The publisher is asking readers to tag their Facebook questions with #bookofjoy and #askforjjoy.
Abrams said that the two men “have dedicated their lives to non-violent resistance to oppression. Throughout the many hardships that they have personally endured and witnessed they have been able to remain remarkably joyful. They are two of the most infectiously happy people on the planet, and they are willing to share what they have learned with the rest of us.” Avery plans a fall 2016 release.