UK & Commonwealth rights to Ipsita Agarwal’s With A Whistle in the Dark have gone to Orion / Seven Dials at auction in a two-book deal.

Ipsita is an Indian journalist and systems engineer, who has documented the true story of the Mangalyaan female scientists who launched a rocket towards Mars in 2013…

India is a country of contradictions – a place that encourages its girls to become rocket scientists, whilst not being able to ensure their right to safety and education.

With stories which have never been on public record until now, this book is an insight into the smartest minds of the Eastern world and their world-record mission.

 In 2013, a team of Indian scientists made history when their spaceship, Mangalyaan, entered Mars’ atmosphere, making India the first country to successfully land their rocket first time on the planet. The mission cost less than the budget of the film The Martian.

 Equally remarkable is that this team was led by a determined and highly-skilled group of women, who watched this momentous breakthrough dressed in traditional saris. With a Whistle in the Dark tells the story of these women – the hidden figures of India.

The book is due to be published in autumn 2020.

Amanda Harris, publisher at Orion, said of the deal: “Ipsita is a wonderful writer and will bring to life this incredible story of women smashing through gender stereotyping and dreaming big. What this small group of female scientists achieved was, and remains, breath-taking. With A Whistle in the Dark will inspire readers to believe that anything is possible; its a celebration of sisterhood and, ultimately, a keen reminder of the urgency of gender equality”

Ipsita said of the deal: “It’s such an honour and joy to be working on a story of some truly incredible women and their science. Writing is anything but a solitary pursuit, and I’m thrilled that this book found its home at Orion, with Amanda and the whole team there… I can’t wait to see where this project takes us all next!”

Ipsita Agarwal is a journalist and scientist born in Kolkata and raised in towns across India and Indonesia. After finding herself second highest in the country for physics, she joined Loughborough University in 2011. The focus of her research was on autonomous systems that have applications in aviation and space. Since 2017, Ipsita has written journalistic pieces that have some bearing in STEM and her work has appeared in US publications like WIRED, Smithsonian Magazine, and BuzzFeed News.