Nicola Sturgeon strikes deal for 'deeply personal and revealing' memoir which will be 'frank about my regrets' after book picked up following publisher battle

Pan Macmillan, which won the nine-way auction for the book, said it will be a ‘deeply personal’ account of the former first minister’s time in politics.

Nicola Sturgeon’s memoir will be “frank about my regrets”, the former first minister said after it was revealed Pan Macmillan will publish her account of her time in frontline Scottish politics.

The Bookseller, a publishing industry trade magazine, reported the publisher had won a nine-publisher auction for the right to take on the memoir.

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Extracts have already been written by the politician, the publisher said, with them being “notable for their wit, honesty and excellent writing”.

Former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's memoir will be published by Pan MacmillanFormer First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's memoir will be published by Pan Macmillan
Former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's memoir will be published by Pan Macmillan

Following the former SNP leader’s resignation in February, there were reports of publishers “clamouring” to buy the rights to her first book after Ms Sturgeon said she would “almost certainly” write a memoir, “even if it’s just for therapy, for myself”.

The book is set to follow Ms Sturgeon’s career from her Ayrshire childhood to becoming the first female and longest serving First Minister, as well as covering major events such as the independence referendum, the Covid pandemic, and Brexit.

It also promises to detail meetings with notable figures and pledges to give “her unique perspective on the most eventful and tumultuous era in modern Scottish and British politics,” the publisher said.

They added: “The result will be a deeply personal and revealing memoir from one of Britain’s most significant political leaders of recent times.”

Ms Sturgeon said the book would be “frank about my regrets” as well as cover what she is proud of, and will reflect on the challenge of being a woman in politics.

She said: “I am thrilled to be working with Pan Macmillan, a globally renowned publisher with proud Scottish roots. I have loved my life in politics but ever since I was a child, I have harboured an ambition to write.

"Embarking on this book is therefore exciting, if also daunting. I aim to chronicle key events of the past three decades of Scottish and British politics and take the reader behind the scenes to describe how it felt to be ‘in the room’, who else was there, the relationships involved and how decisions were arrived at.

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“I will talk about what I am proud of and be frank about my regrets. I will reflect on the challenges of being a woman in politics and reveal more about the person behind the politician.

"I will also draw on my 35 years of experience to offer some thoughts on the future of Scotland, the UK and democracy in general.”

Announcing the news on Instagram, the Scottish former first minister said: “Very excited to be doing this. I’ve always had an ambition to write.

“It is slightly bitter sweet today, though, as I head to the funeral of my uncle, the journalist Iain Ferguson. This is something that I always hoped we might work together on some day. Instead, it will be a book I dedicate to him.”

Mike Harpley, Pan’s non-fiction publishing director who won the rights for the book, said: “As well as spending her career in frontline politics, Nicola is a lifelong avid reader, lover of literature and a keen supporter of bookshops and the wider book trade.

"As a result, it is no surprise that the extracts she has already written are notable for their wit, honesty and excellent writing. We are very much looking forward to working with her on this book."

Craig Hoy, the Scottish Conservative party chairman, said the book should see Ms Sturgeon “be up front and honest about her failings” while in Bute House.

Willie Rennie, the former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, said: “I'm sure she will have interesting things to say about leading the country through the Covid pandemic, her split from Alex Salmond and more.

"Given the ongoing ructions within the SNP, I imagine she is leaving the final chapter blank for now.”

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