Picador acquires Patrick Radden Keefe's Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

Prize-winning author Patrick Radden Keefe's highly anticipated portrait of three generations of the Sackler family to be published by Picador in May 2021.

Ravi Mirchandani, Editor in Chief, Picador has acquired UK & Commonwealth rights to Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe from Matilda Forbes Watson at WME.

The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions – the National Gallery, the British Museum, Oxford and Harvard universities, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre, among many others. The Sacklers are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish philanthropy in the arts and the sciences. But the sources of the family fortunes have been far less visible, as has their ownership of Purdue Pharma, the company responsible for developing and aggressively marketing OxyContin, the blockbuster painkiller that has played so crucial a role in the opioid crisis, an epidemic in which more Americans have perished than in all the wars since World War II.

EMPIRE OF PAIN is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling, the story of the rise a dynasty and the generosity and ruin that have accompanied it, a parable of modern philanthropy and profit.

Mirchandani commented:

‘Patrick Radden Keefe is not only one of the finest investigative journalists in the English-speaking world, he is also a tremendous writer and storyteller. Reminiscent by turns of Bad Blood, Mad Men, Succession and The Godfather, Empire of Pain is shocking, tragic and utterly unputdownable.’

Patrick Radden Keefe is an award-winning staff writing at The New Yorker and is the author of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, winner of the 2018 Orwell Prize and the US National Book Critics’ Circle Award. He grew up in Boston and now lives in New York. 

Picador will publish in hardcover in May 2021.