Faber to publish Jodie Harsh’s memoir in Autumn 2025

By Faber Editor, Tuesday 28 May 2024

Faber will publish Jodie Harsh’s You Had to Be There in Autumn 2025.

Publishing Director Hannah Knowles acquired UK & Comm. (exc. Can) and audio rights from Harriet Poland at CAA in an eight-way auction.

Throughout the noughties, from Camden and Soho to Mayfair, stretching from Notting Hill to the Hackney Road and Primrose Hill, the city was a messy, beating, slick and sordid melting pot. New music, new fashion, new art, all coming together in a mad, heady rush before – and during – the financial crash of 2008. Scenes collided, exploded, were reborn and shaped, all across the city, at rapid speed.

Harsh grabs us by the hand and leads us back to those decadent times: from the Astoria to The Cross, the Soho Revue Bar to Mahiki, Boombox to The End and her famous friends’ houses; to a time before social media and cameraphones were ubiquitous and a life without their perpetual scrutiny allowed for a more liberated, hedonistic and creative existence. You had to be there, and Jodie Harsh was. Every single night.

Harsh said:

‘For a decade, I barely slept. I frantically jumped from club to club in a London that is now lost but not forgotten. My decadence almost destroyed me, but thankfully I kept on dancing. I’ve finally written the book I have always wanted to read, and I can’t wait to introduce you to the characters, and the places, that made it all so wild.’

Knowles said:

‘Jodie’s writing is a high-voltage shock of brilliance, capturing with visceral immediacy what it means to be young and eager to experience all life has to offer. With You Had to Be There, she recalls an iconic time in London, bringing back to life on the page the freedom and excesses that seem impossible today.’

Jodie Harsh is nothing short of a dancefloor icon. Her blonde beehive and thumping DJ sets have taken her from London’s underground to the global stage. While studying for a degree in writing, Harsh created the now instantly recognisable silhouette. As a party starter, she remains at the centre of London nightlife. As a DJ, she headlines festivals and raves. As a producer and songwriter, Harsh’s releases have racked up over 40 million streams to date. As a remixer, Harsh has worked her magic on everyone from Beyoncé to Charli XCX. You Had to Be There is her first book.


Credit: Karen Stanley