Ehrenreich On Herself
Nickel and Dimed author Barbara Ehrenreich is turning her focus inward. The prolific journalist and author—she's written more than 20 books—has sold her first memoir. The new work, currently untitled, explores, as the publisher put it, "her adventures—personal, intellectual and unexpectedly spiritual—on her lifelong mission to answer the question ‘why.'" Grand Central editor-in-chief Deb Futter bought U.S. and Canadian rights to the book, which Kris Dahl at ICM sold.
Thomas Dunne Gets OCD
Rob Kirkpatrick at St. Martin's Thomas Dunne imprint took North American rights to a debut work by recent college grad, Fletcher Wortmann, called Trigger. In the book Wortmann, a 2009 Swarthmore graduate, charts his struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder and how he learned to cope, as the publisher explained, "through psychiatric treatment and Clockwork Orange–like ‘trigger' therapy." Eric Lupfer at William Morris Endeavor brokered the deal for the book, which Thomas Dunne is pitching as "a ‘male' version" of Jennifer Traig's Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood. Excerpts from the memoir originally ran in the Swarthmore Phoenix under a pseudonym.
Bainbridge's Swan Song
Kent Carroll at Europa Editions bought U.S. rights to the final novel by Beryl Bainbridge, The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress. Bainbridge, who died in July at 75 just after finishing the book, is a two-time Whitbread winner and a five-time Booker finalist. The historical novel, which Europa has scheduled for fall 2011, is set in the U.S. in 1968, just after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. In the book, a young English woman comes to the States and sets off on a cross-country road trip with an American man. Bainbridge's London agent, Andrew Hewson, handled the deal.
Tor's 'True' Ghost Tales
Weronika Janczuk, in her first deal as an associate agent at D4EO Literary, sold North American rights to Annie Wilder's collection, Trucker Ghost Stories. Jim Frenkel at Tor Books acquired the work, which the agency described as a compilation of "true ghost stories," provided largely by those who heavily travel America's highways and byways. D4EO principal Bob Diforio assisted Janczuk on the deal. Wilder is the author of House of Spirits and Whispers and Spirits Out of Time (both from Llewellyn Publications).
Page to Screen
In two just-closed dramatic rights deals, William Martin's City of Dreams (Forge) was optioned by ABC, and Curtis Wilkie's The Fall of the House of Zeus (Crown) was nabbed by producer Sam Haskell. Martin is represented by Robert Gottlieb and Erica Silverman at Trident, and Brian Pike at CAA closed the TV rights deal with producer Warren Littlefield. The book, which was published in the spring, is another in Martin's series following treasure hunter Peter Fallon (think Dan Brown's Robert Langdon). In this one, Fallon and his fiancée are on the hunt for a box of bonds that were originally to be given to George Washington in 1780.
Wilkie, a Boston Globe reporter, chronicles the rise and fall of billionaire lawyer Dickie Scruggs in his nonfiction work, charting how Scruggs went from Democratic kingpin to prison inmate. Haskell, former executive v-p and worldwide head of TV for William Morris, optioned the book from Deborah Grosvenor and Ike Williams of Kneerim & Williams.