LBYR Gets Brainwashed By Zadoff

Kate Sullivan at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers nabbed world rights, at auction, to Boy Nobody, Allen Zadoff’s first title in a planned YA trilogy about a brainwashed teenage assassin who starts to regain his emotions. Stuart Krichevsky, who has an eponymous agency, represented Zadoff in the deal. The book, which is set for spring 2013, grew out of Zadoff’s coping with the death of his mother in 2010. LBYR said the author, whose most recent book is My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies (Egmont, May 2011), began to wonder what it would be like “not to have emotions” and created a character who was “a young soldier trained not to feel; who could function in every situation without fear, sympathy or anger; who could assassinate strangers and then walk away emotionally unscathed.”

Unger Moves to Touchstone

Bestselling author Lisa Unger is moving houses. Unger has been at Crown for a number of years, but now, with a new two book contract, has shifted to Simon & Schuster, signing with Touchstone editorial director Sally Kim. The agreement marks a reunion, of sorts, as Kim acquired (and edited) Unger’s 2006 debut, Beautiful Lies. Through the new deal, which agent Elaine Markson brokered, Unger will do two new books in her series about magazine writer Ridley Jones. The series was launched with Beautiful Lies and the second (and most recent) book in the series, Sliver of Truth, was published in 2007 by (the now-closed Crown division) Shaye Areheart Books. According to Touchstone, Unger has sold more than one million copies of her books, and they have been translated into 26 languages. The two Ridley Jones titles in the S&S deal will come out in mass market from Pocket, and S&S U.K. will handle the British editions.

Riverhead Looks at the Other Frank

Laura Perciasepe at Riverhead Books took world English rights to the literary debut from Jillian Cantor, Margot. Jessica Regel at the Jean V. Naggar Agency closed the deal for Cantor, whose first book, the commercial women’s fiction outing Transformation of Things, was published by Avon in November 2010. The new novel reimagines the life of Anne Frank’s sister, Margot, who supposedly kept her own diary and died shortly before Anne, in 1945. Perciasepe, Regel said, writes about Margot coming to America, after the war, as “Anne’s growing status as a cultural icon dramatically upends [her] own new identity, love, and life.”

Atria Signs Berkeley Novel

Joan Steinau Lester sold her new novel Mama’s Child to Malaika Adero at Atria. Lester, who has written a number of nonfiction (The Future of White Men) and fiction (Black, White, Other: In Search of Nina Armstrong) titles, sold world rights, in a deal handled by agents Cynthia Manson, of the Cynthia Manson Agency, and Judith Hansen, of Judith Hansen Literary. The book is set in 1960s Berkeley, against the backdrop of Vietnam, and the agents said it is “the story of an inter-racial family that struggles to stay together…told in two voices, Ruby, a mixed race daughter, and Elizabeth, her white mother.”


John Parsely at Little, Brown took world rights to Underwater Dogs, Seth Casteel’s gift book featuring photographs of dogs underwater, a number of which were Internet hits. The six-figure deal was brokered by Michelle Tessler at Tessler Literary in an auction that involved eight houses... Robert Pigeon, executive editor at Da Capo, took world rights to the short story collection Fire and Forget, from agent E.J. McCarthy. The stories are about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. National Book Award winner Colum McCann is writing the introduction, and the collection will feature stories by writers such as Matt Gallagher, Phil Kay, and Siobhan Fallon.