Riverhead executive editor Sean McDonald acquired North American rights, at auction, to journalist Joshuah Bearman's memoir, St. Croix. Bearman, who's written for Rolling Stone and Harper's among other publications, chronicles his complex and bizarre experience getting to know (and taking care of) his estranged mother and younger brother at the age of 32. Having grown up in California with his father, Bearman was, until his grandparents' death, unaware of his other family members' lives—mom and brother both lived in West Palm Beach; she's an alcoholic and he's an aspiring rapper. Staying in a Club Medesque residence (the only nearby spot available) on a trip to visit the pair—mom's in the hospital and brother's in jail—Bearman is forced to put the pieces back together in a book the publisher says is “as absurd as it is heartfelt.” David McCormick of McCormick & Williams brokered the deal, and the book's slated for summer 2011.
The Ethical Entrepreneur
Founder of the online retailer Global Girlfriend (which sells fair-trade products made by women in Third World countries), Stacey Edgar has sold her memoir to St. Martin's. Nichole Argyres took North American rights to With a Little Help from My Girlfriends: How a Peace Corps Reject with No Passport Started a Million-Dollar Business That Transformed the Lives of Women in Poverty Around the World. In the book, Edgar recounts her entrepreneurial and emotional journey, in which she visited some of the most impoverished corners of the globe and turned a lightbulb moment into a thriving business. Laurie Abkemeier at DeFiore and Company made the sale.
John Glusman at Harmony/Shaye Areheart bought North American rights to Nigel Farndale's novel, The Blasphemer. British author Farndale—Transworld is publishing the book in the U.K. in January 2010—follows a couple struggling with the aftermath of surviving a plane crash and splices that present-day drama with a WWI-era mystery. Shaye Areheart Books will publish in 2010. Agent Michael Carlisle struck the deal, and various foreign rights deals have also closed in, among other places, Brazil, Holland and Italy.
Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House has closed two graphic novel deals for Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist Ted Rall (who's also president of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists). The first, for two projects, is with Terry Nantier of NBM. Nantier took world rights to Rall's trilogy, the first of which is called The Year of Loving Dangerously, the cartoonist's memoir about being a Columbia dropout in 1980s New York City. Nantier also nabbed world rights to Rall's The Die is Cast, his comics adaptation of John-Paul Sartre's existential work about two star-crossed lovers in Paris who don't meet until the afterlife, LesJeux Sont Faits. The second deal, with Dan Simon at Seven Stories, is for The Post-American Manifesto, Rall's updated take on Marx's Communist Manifesto, in which he, per Heifetz, offers a “call to action for Americans ready to move toward a new system where the average person is society's top priority.”
Laurie David's Family Meal
Laurie David, ex-wife of comedian Larry David and well-known environmental activist, has sold her new book about the importance of family dining, The Family Table: Everyday Solutions to Reclaim Dinner and Keep Your Kids Connected. Dorian Karchmar at William Morris Endeavor sold North American rights, at auction, to Karen Murgolo at Grand Central. Hachette says the book will be a guide to creating the ideal family dinner, offering tips on place setting, conversation topics and dinner-time games, as well as healthy recipes.