Sweet Valley Revisited
Providing a flashback to their youth for 20- and 30-something women everywhere, St. Martin's Press has closed on a deal for a new adult novel featuring the original characters of the hit 1980s YA series, Sweet Valley High. Identical twins—and California blondes—Jessica and Elizabeth are back in Sweet Valley Confidential, a hardcover SMP publisher-at-large Dan Weiss grabbed world English rights to and is planning on publishing in early 2011. Hilary Teeman will edit. Series creator Francine Pascal has signed on to update the franchise, which has been reinvigorated, in part, by news that screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) has been tapped to write a film based on the original books. The series, which debuted in 1983 and continued into the '90s with some 500 titles, followbd the travails of Elizabeth and Jessica, who hail from the book's titular town. Pascal promises the new novel, which chronicles the sisters in their adult lives, will answer myriad questions, many of which she's received over the years from fans wondering what happened to the twins after high school. Pascal was represented in the deal by agent Amy Berkower.
Into the 'Woods'
Scott Moyers at the Wylie Agency sold a new book about the historic U.S. economic summit that took place at Bretton Woods, by economist Ben Steil, to Princeton University Press. PUP's Seth Ditchik bought world English rights at auction to the currently untitled work, and the press is looking to publish in 2013. Steil, a senior fellow and director of international economics at New York's Council on Foreign Relations, examines the historical legacy—and economic implications for today—of what happened in the small New Hampshire town in 1944, when, during World War II, delegates from 44 countries met for what was one of the first major attempts to rebuild the global economic system, or, as Moyers put it, “do what had never been attempted before.” According to Moyers, Steil's account of Bretton Woods, known officially as the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, is the first since the discovery, in the Soviet archives, that one of the conference's major players, American Harry Dexter White, was, in fact, a Russian spy. The inclusion of the archival information will give a fresh perspective to the deal making that took place at the famous meeting, Moyers said.
Frenemies, Mickey & Willie
Crown's Julian Pavia bought world rights to Allen Barra's in-depth look at the decades-long friendship and rivalry between two of baseball's greatest players, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays. Agent Andrew Blauner brokered the deal for Mickey and Willie, which he said is the first book to chronicle what became one of the game's more unlikely off-the-diamond pairings, one largely unbeknownst to the stars' respective fans. Barra, a sports columnist for the Wall Street Journal who's written such bestselling sports titles as Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee and The Last Coach: A Life of Paul “Bear” Bryant, pulls from years of research and interviews with baseball greats (ranging from Hank Aaron to Tom Seaver) as well as writers and journalists to detail the relationship and to offer a solid opinion about who, between the two, was the better player. For the latter, Blauner added, Barra uses “advanced statistics” and pits the players “against each other at various points in their careers.” The book will include illustrations, and Crown is planning a 2011 publication.