Penguin Press UK acquires debut book by economist Ryan Avent

Tom Penn, Editorial Director of Penguin Press UK, has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to The Illusion of Stability: Work in The Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent. The book was bought at auction from Jonathan Conway of Jonathan Conway Literary Agency Ltd.

In addition to the UK deal, North American rights were acquired from Conway at auction by Tim Bartlett, Executive Editor at St. Martin’s Press, with further deals concluded in Holland, Spain and Japan.

In The Illusion of Stability, Ryan Avent draws on his unique understanding of the seismic changes facing today’s global labour market to reimagine our accepted definition of this fundamental aspect of society. His writing is persuasive, provocative and captivating. It’s also highly relevant to our daily lives.

Penn said: ‘As Ryan Avent notes, it’s hard to imagine a humanity in which work is not one of the defining characteristics of life and society – but what happens when, as it’s already doing at a runaway rate, technology replaces human labour? If our lives are no longer organised around work, what are we here for? What will we do with ourselves? This is a sharp, profound exploration of one of the greatest and most troubling issues of our time and that of generations to come, by a major new talent.’

Ryan Avent is Economics Correspondent for The Economist and the primary contributor to The Economist’s Free Exchange blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @ryanavent