Atria Lands Transgender Tale
In a world rights acquisition, Atria’s Sarah Branham bought Janet Mock’s memoir, Fish Food, at auction, from Ryan Harbage of the Fischer-Harbage Agency. Mock, an editor at People.com, was born male but had gender reassignment surgery at 18. She discussed her childhood—including her contention that she knew she was the wrong sex by age three—in a Marie Claire story last summer, which nabbed a GLAAD Media Award nomination. The memoir, Branham said, will offer the first personal account of gender transition from the perspective of someone who underwent the procedure at a young age; it will also be the first book on the subject from someone of color (Mock is half Hawaiian and half African-American).
Viking Kids Goes ‘Blind’ for DeWoskin
Rachel DeWoskin (Big Girl Small) sold her first YA novel, Blind, to Regina Hayes at Viking Children’s Books. Hayes took world English rights, in a two-book deal, from Jill Grinberg of Jill Grinberg Literary Management. The novel, which is set for fall 2013, follows a blind 15-year-old girl whose small town is rocked after a local teenager is abducted, then murdered. Viking said the heroine, who is trying to regain her independence after losing her sight in an accident, begins to have an odd effect on the townspeople. The publisher elaborated: “Emma’s unusual way of seeing, her friendships with other teenagers, and their collective rage at the loss of one of their own, force everyone—kids and adults—to confront their own blindnesses.” DeWoskin’s bestselling memoir, Foreign Babes in Beijing, is currently being developed as a series by HBO.
Penguin Press Explores Eleanor’s Girl
Colin Dickerman at Penguin Press bought world rights to Eleanor and Hick by biographer Susan Quinn. Jill Kneerim, at Kneerim & Williams, brokered the deal. The book explores the love Eleanor Roosevelt had for reporter Lorena Hickok. Kneerim said the work delves into how the relationship “radically transformed both their lives and allowed Mrs. Roosevelt to develop into the great public figure she became.”
Da Capo Gets Hitched with ‘The Bachelorette’
Trista Sutter, a former contestant on ABC’s The Bachelorette, sold a book about marriage to Renee Sedliar, at Da Capo Press. Sutter is one of the few “stars” of the reality dating show to have married someone she met on-air, and the book, Happily Ever After, will offer her secrets about, as Da Capo put it, “finding happiness and success in love.” Celeste Fine at Sterling Lord sold world rights, and Da Capo is planning the book for fall 2013, to coincide with Sutter’s 10-year wedding anniversary.
Harlequin Nabs Pushcart Nominee
In a six-figure acquisition, Erika Imranyi, at Harlequin’s Mira imprint, took world rights in a two-book deal, to Jason Mott’s debut novel, The Returned. Imranyi preempted the book from Folio Literary Management’s Michelle Brower. The novel opens with a couple waking one morning to find their son, who drowned 50 years ago at the age of eight, on their doorstep, still a child. The bizarre return winds up being part of a worldwide event in which people everywhere are coming back from the dead. The central family then find themselves, per the publisher, “caught in a conflict that rocks the foundation of humanity.” Harlequin said the work recalls novels like The Tiger’s Wife and The Passage; it’s slated for fall 2013.
Clark Closes Two-fer
Agent William Clark, of William Clark Associates, closed two deals last week. In the first, he sold Zack O’Malley Greenburg’s Michael Jackson Inc. to Leslie Meredith at Free Press. Clark worked with agent Ed Victor on the deal, and the book, by the Forbes staff writer and author of Empire State of Mind, will explore the late pop star’s business dealings; specifically, Clark said, it examines “how Jackson’s little-known business sense helped make him the most successful entertainer of all time, on and off the stage.” Free Press took U.S. and Canadian rights. In the second deal, Katie Salisbury, at Amazon Publishing, bought U.S. and Canadian rights, at auction, to Claire Prentice’s The Lost Tribe of Coney Island. Prentice is a Scottish journalist, and the nonfiction book explores an interesting historical episode: in 1905 a collection of Filipino tribespeople were sent to Coney Island as part of a “human exhibit” in the theme park’s infamous freak show. Clark said the book is “a social history, a tale of adventure, culture-clash, opportunism, sex, greed, bigamy, and corruption, which has never been told before.”
Hubbard Inks YA Contract with Llewellyn
D4EO Literary agent and author Mandy Hubbard (But I Love Him) sold her YA novel The Truth About Us to Brian Farrey-Latz at Llewellyn’s Flux imprint. Hubbard’s colleague Bob Diforio brokered the two-book North American rights deal, and she will be publishing under her existing pseudonym, Amanda Grace. In Truth a 16-year-old enrolled in a college-level program has an affair with one of her professors. The second book in the deal is currently untitled. Hubbard has written a number of YA titles under her own name as well as this pen name.