Leah Hazard‘s memoir Hard Pushed: Notes of a Midwife has been acquired by Hutchinson (Penguin Random House) in a six-figure deal following a hotly contested seven-way auction.

Senior Editor at Hutchinson, Sarah Rigby, acquired UK & Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) in print, e-book and audio for the title from Associate Agent Hayley Steed. Rigby stated: “Hard Pushed has an emotional depth and physicality that you can almost smell, hear, reach out and touch. This important and timely book will give voice to the experiences of thousands of midwives and the people they care for at the most frightening, empowering, exposing, happiest moments of their lives.”

The book acts a love letter to not just Hazard’s fellow midwives and the National Health Service, but also to her patients.

Steed described the moment she discovered Hazard’s book: “I both wept and laughed at my desk when I first read Leah’s proposal … This book is going to make waves with women – and men – everywhere, breaking the taboo of speaking openly about childbirth and uncensoring these women’s experiences.”

Hazard studied English and American Literature at Harvard University and earned a Masters Degree in Directing, pursuing a career in television at BBC Scotland. The birth of her first daughter prompted her to change direction and pursue her lifelong interest in women’s health. She qualified as a registered midwife in 2013 and has worked in a variety of clinical areas within the NHS maternity services.

The hardback will be published by Hutchinson in May 2019, and will be followed by a paperback publication by Arrow in 2020.