A memoir by the late journalist Sarah Hughes, who died of cancer earlier this year, will be released next March, covering topics ranging from planning your own funeral to the importance of trashy novels.
Hughes, who wrote about managing his illness during the pandemic for The Observer, and was responsible for the episode-by-episode recaps of The Guardian’s Game of Thrones and Line of Duty, sold the memoir to Bonnier Books, Blink, at first. of 2021. She died in April, aged 48, is survived by her husband Kris and two children.
The publisher described his memoir, Holding Tight, Letting Go, as “a book about how to die as much as how to live” and “a celebration of all that can make a living, and how to keep it all close when everything feels completely precarious ”.
“I would be lying if I said the last decade hasn’t been the best of my life,” Hughes wrote in The Observer in 2019 in an article about his diagnosis. “I was lucky in love, fulfilled in my work, surrounded by friends, laughed more than I would have thought possible at the most ridiculous things. I can say with absolute honesty that I had a great time and I don’t regret it.
Later, during the pandemic, she advised that “even in these depressing times, try to find a part of the day worth savoring, be it a half-glimpsed beauty moment outside, the joy of escaping into a different world on a page or screen, or the pleasure of dressing for yourself and for no one else because you feel good ”.
Hughes started out in journalism writing about basketball and college football for the New York Daily News. Upon her return to the UK, she covered horse racing and football, then wrote for newspapers such as the Independent, the Telegraph and the Metro, as well as the Guardian and the Observer. His reports on abuses by UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with photojournalist Kate Holt saw her shortlisted for an Amnesty International award in 2004.
His memoirs will also include contributions from his friends. On Hughes’ death tributes poured in from names ranging from Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner to Jed Mercurio, television writer and creator of Line of Duty, and screenwriter and television producer Sarah Phelps. “She was infinitely curious, hilarious and kind, an incisively brilliant and fearless writer,” Phelps said at the time.
“Sarah has been a guide to so many people, in so many different ways,” said Blink editorial director Susannah Otter, who acquired the memoir. “She really knew what it was like to live, fully and completely, with commitment, honesty and joy. It is a huge pleasure, and a colossal honor, to publish this brightly funny and honest collection of her with the contributions of those who knew her best.