T.J. Kelleher at Perseus bought, at auction, James Stein's Cosmic Numbers. Agent Jodie Rhodes brokered the deal—Kelleher bought world rights, save Japanese and Korean translation rights, which Rhodes held onto—for a book that explores the “special power” of certain numerical combinations that, as Rhodes put it, “represent the history of the sciences of physics, chemistry, astronomy, and actually define our universe.” Stein teaches math at California State University, Long Beach, and has written four other books, the last being 2008's How Math Explains the World.
'Don't Know Much' Scribe Moves Houses
Hyperion has inked a deal with historian Kenneth C. Davis for two new titles, one of which will be an addition to his bestselling Don't Know Much About series, which has long been published by HarperCollins. Editor Elisabeth Dyssegaard acquired U.S., Canadian, and nonexclusive open market rights from agent David Black, and Hyperion is planning Don't Know Much About the American Presidents for 2012, timed to the presidential election. According to Hyperion, the numerous titles that make up the Don't Know Much About series (a line that is over 20 years old and includes both adult and children's editions) have sold over five million copies.
Shannon Closes on Prose & Smith
Agent Denise Shannon just closed a deal for a Patti Smith photography book and her co-agent, Bob Bookman at CAA, also closed on a film deal for one of her clients. Bookman sold an option on the film rights to Francine Prose's recent novel, Goldengrove (Harper, 2008), to director Sofia Coppola. On the print side, Shannon sold world rights to a photography book featuring shots of Patti Smith by Judy Linn to Tamar Brazis at Abrams. The book includes roughly 100 black and white images of Smith between 1969 and 1977, as well as shots of people ranging from Robert Mapplethorpe to Sam Shepard; Abrams is planning an April 2011 pub.
After a four-day auction featuring six other bidders, Harper's David Hirshey won North American rights to a book about the longest game in baseball history (33 innings) by New York Times columnist Dan Barry. In The Game, Barry writes about the 1981 eight hour and seven minute showdown in Pawtucket, R.I., between the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings, a game that started at 8 p.m. and dragged on until just past 4 a.m. the following morning. Not only did the match-up feature such would-be stars as Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken Jr. but, as Hirshey noted, it highlighted something essential about the game of baseball itself. Likening the work to Friday Night Lights, Hirshey said Barry writes about “the randomness of success and the way a small town down on its luck pulls together around this kind of freak once-in-a-lifetime happening.” Agents Lane Zachary and Todd Shuster, of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary, brokered the deal, and Harper is planning a spring 2011 publication, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the game.
Adam Wilson at Mira Books acquired two psychological romantic thrillers by Andrea Kane. Andrea Cirillo and Christina Hogrebe at Jane Rotrosen brokered the deal; in the books, a team of investigators work in and out of the bounds of the law to solve crimes.
Momofuku restaurant group pastry chef Christina Tosi sold Momofuku Milk Bar to Clarkson Potter's Rica Allannic, who bought world rights in a pre-empt. Kim Witherspoon at Inkwell Management brokered the deal for the cookbook, which features 100 recipes (with photos), along with behind-the-scenes stories about working at the Milk Bar.