Callahan Goes Gothic for ‘Rathbones’

Allison Callahan, at Doubleday/Knopf, bought North American rights to Janice Clark’s debut novel, The Rathbones, in a six-figure sale brokered by Foundry Literary + Media’s Mollie Glick. The novel traverses a century in the lineage of a now-crumbling New England whaling family and has, Glick said, “echoes of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and The Odyssey.” The novel’s clan heads toward ruin as the sperm whales near extinction. Callahan pre-empted the book and Stephanie Abou at Foundry is handling foreign rights.

Parker Lands at RH Children’s for Debut YA

Amy Christine Parker closed a two-book deal with Suzy Capozzi at Random House Children’s Books for her debut effort, The Silo. Capozzi bought world rights, for six figures at auction, from Lucienne Diver at the Knight Agency. The YA book, which is scheduled for fall 2013, follows a teenage girl named Lyla who has been living in a religious cult after the disappearance of her sister. While her parents are hopelessly under the sway of the group’s leader, Pioneer, Lyla is drawn into a dangerous situation when she begins to question Pioneer’s prophecy about the impending apocalypse.

Grand Central on Grand Central

Grand Central the imprint now has a book on Grand Central, the terminal. Rick Wolff acquired world rights to Sam Roberts’s Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America, from agent Andrew Blauner. The book, which is set for February 2013, explores how the Manhatta transit hub foreshadowed the evolution of urban expansion in the country. As Grand Central Publishing explained, the train station “fostered the nation’s westward expansion and suburbanization.” Roberts is the urban affairs correspondent (and Metro Matters columnist) at the New York Times, and the book, which he’s writing with the cooperation of the MTA, will feature a notable amount of art (photos, maps, etc.). Roberts has also written a number of books, including The Brother: The Untold Story of the Rosenberg Case.


George Witte, editor-in-chief at St. Martin’s Press, signed a book by the president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Caryl Stern. Lorin Rees, who has an eponymous agency, sold world rights to I Believe in Zero: Learning from the World’s Children. The book, scheduled for 2013, offers Stern’s personal accounts of stories from areas besieged by civil war, humanitarian crisis, and natural disaster, such as Darfur and Haiti. According to Witte: “Stern tells firsthand stories of hope, resilience, determination, and family; inspiring stories that present powerful and sometimes counterintuitive lessons, which she has used to teach her own children.”

Abrams Gets ‘Sh*tty’ Parenting Advice

Abrams editorial director Jennifer Levesque took North American rights to a tongue-in-cheek parenting guide from a group of high-powered professional women called Sh*tty Mom: The Guide for Good-Enough Moms. Yfat Reiss-Gendell at Foundry Literary + Media represented authors Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo, and Ann Zoellner in the deal, and rights have already sold in the U.K., where Hodder will publish. (The U.S./U.K. release will be coordinated for August 2012.) Levesque, Reiss-Gendell said, cited the timeliness of the book, with “irreverent” parenting titles popular right now. The authors also have some media cred: Kilmartin is the sole female writer for Conan O’Brien; Zoellner and Ybarbo are producers at the Today Show; and Moline is a successful ghostwriter.