Art Spiegelman gets 'meta' on Maus; Richard Ford heads to the Great White North; Pete Townsend talks 'Tommy' (and life); and Jonathan Evison explores caregiving. These are just some of the authors the American agents will be pushing in the rights center this year.
A book Baror will be pushing hard in Frankfurt is Lissa Price’s Starters (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, Mar. 2012), a futuristic thriller, and the first in a series, about a girl in a society where beauty is coveted at all costs,; rights sold in various countries. From Boston Globe columnist Meredith Goldstein is The Minus Ones (Plume, summer 2012), which dissects the lives of five wedding guests, who are all coming solo to a lavish Chesapeake Bay nuptials; rights sold in Brazil, Germany, Italy, and the U.K. Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee have Forbidden (Center Street, Sept. 2011), the first thriller in a trilogy set in a medieval future; rights sold in the Netherlands and the U.K. From Diana Gabaldon is The Scottish Prisoner (Delacorte, Nov. 2011), the third entry in the Lord John series from the author of the bestselling Outlander series; rights sold in a number of countries. From Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt is The Swerve (Norton, Sept. 2011), an “innovative work of history,” about how an ancient text by Lucretius that “changed the course of human thought” was saved; rights sold in Brazil, Germany, Holland, Korea, and the U.K.
DeFiore & Company
One of the big books on DeFiore’s list is Jen Lancaster’s Jeneration X (NAL, May 2012), a memoir from the bestselling novelist (Such a Pretty Fat) about the difficulty of acting her age. From Neal Barnard, M.D., is Power Foods for Your Brain (Grand Central, Feb. 2013), a diet regimen to combat Alzheimer’s as well as lift your overall energy. The agency also has Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider’s Not Your Mother’s Rules: Dating Secrets for Texting, Facebook, Booty Calls and Everything Else! (Grand Central, 2013), a new guide from the authors of The Rules that updates their dating dos and don’ts for the 21st century; rights sold in the U.K. and Korea. From Dr. Brandy Dunn, writing with David Rensin, is the memoir The Men on My Couch (Berkley, 2013), an account from a female psychotherapist who treated a number of men and listened to intimate details about their sex lives; rights sold in Brazil, Germany, and Italy. And from Jennifer Armstrong and Heather Wood Rudúlph is The Feminist Bombshell: A No-Guilt Guide to a Smart, Sexy, and Empowered Life (HMH, Mar. 2013), a guide from the cofounders of SexyFeminist.com.
On the fiction front, Dijkstra will be pushing Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement (HC, fall 2012), which stretches from the 1890s to the 1930s, and San Francisco to Shanghai, as it follows a Chinese-American courtesan; rights sold in a number of countries including Canada, Germany, and Poland. From Indira Ganesan is As Sweet As Honey (Knopf, spring 2013), a novel set on a fictional island off of India about a tall woman whose short husband unexpectedly dies at their wedding. Robert Pobi has Bloodman (Amazon/Thomas and Mercer, Mar. 2012), a psychological thriller about an FBI contractor dealing with a dangerous person from his past; rights sold in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and the U.K. On the nonfiction front the agency has Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan’s The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program (Workman, Jan. 2012), which lays out a “whole body, whole-mind” regimen. And from Charles Moore, writing with Cassandra Phillips, is Plastic Ocean (Avery, Oct. 2011), an account from the man who discovered the mass of refuse adrift in the Pacific Ocean known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”
Dystel & Goderich
A major title on DGLM’s list is Joe Bastianich’s Restaurant Man (Viking, spring 2012), a “take-no-prisoners” memoir from the famed restaurateur (and son of Lydia) that the agency says is written in “an authentic New York style that is as unapologetic as it is hilarious.” From NPR’s current v-p of programming, Eric Nuzum, there’s the memoir Giving Up the Ghost (RH, summer 2012), about friendship, loss, and “the downside of recreational drug use.” On the YA side, DGLM has Heather Brewer’s The Legacy of Tril: Bloodbound (Dutton, summer 2012), the first title in a new fantasy series from the author of the bestselling middle-grade series, the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. Another YA title the agency will be talking up is Cyn Balog’s Dead River (Delacorte, spring 2013), a paranormal thriller about a teenage girl who gets a tip about what happened to her mother, who disappeared years earlier on a white water rafting trip. The big middle-grade title from the agency is J. Scott Savage’s The Grimville Case Files (Harper Childen’s, spring 2013), the first in a series about three boys who are obsessed with monsters and solve mysteries in their town.
One of the big books Foundry will be pushing in the rights center is the new one from West of Here author Jonathan Evison, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving (Algonquin, Jan. 2013), about a former stay-at-home dad who, after taking the title course, finds he’s woefully unprepared to work with a bitter 19-year-old with advanced muscular dystrophy; the agency says the book is “part road trip, part buddy story, and part coming-of-middle-age.” From Elizabeth Percer is An Educated Woman (HC, May 2012), about a girl set on going into medicine after suffering a loss at a young age. Journalist Robin Gaby Fisher teams with producer Angelo Guglielmo for The Woman Who Wasn’t There (Touchstone, Apr. 2012), based on the forthcoming eponymous documentary about a con artist named Tania Head, who, motivated by something other than greed (since she made no money), commandeered a 9/11 survivors’ group with her detailed, and fabricated, account of escaping the World Trade Center attacks. In The Road to Valor: Gino Bartali, Tour de France Legend and Italy’s Secret WWII Hero (Crown, summer 2012), Aili McConnon and Andres McConnon, a brother-and-sister writing team, explore the life of the man known as “The Lion of Tuscany,” who won the famed bike race in 1938 and was unable to defend his title until 10 years later, after he returned from the front lines of WWII; rights sold in Brazil, Holland, and the U.K. On the YA front is Jess Rothenberg’s debut, The Catastrophic History of You & Me (Dial Books for Young Readers, Feb. 2012), about a 15-year-old girl who literally dies of a broken heart and then enters a state of limbo; the novel, which has sold in various countries, was inspired by a Wall Street Journal article about a rare condition known as Broken Heart syndrome.
Gelfman Schneider (handled by Curtis Brown)
Among GS’s big books in Germany is Peggy Hesketh’s Telling the Bees (Putnam, 2012), a literary mystery about a California beekeeper who is haunted by the death of his childhood friend and neighbor. From bestseller Jeffery Deaver is XO (S&S, summer 2012), the third entry in the author’s Kathryn Dance series, set in the world of the music business. Manette Ansay is out with the novel Walking on Earth, a first-person account from the perspective of a 30-year-old man who finds out, shortly after his father’s death, that he was living a double life and had a second family. Ansay is the author of numerous novels, including the Oprah Book Club selection Vinegar Hill. And from debut novelist Kathleen Alcott there’s The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets (Other Press, Oct. 2012), about two brothers who sleepwalk and form a tight bond with their neighbor, coming together as an unlikely family, but one that is tested as each member grows up.
One of the hot books on Gernert’s list is Chris Pavone’s The Expats (Crown, May 2012), a debut thriller from a former editor—he worked at Doubleday, Crown, and elsewhere—who spent a year living in Luxembourg with his family. The book, which Molly Stern pre-empted for a significant sum, goes back and forth between London and Luxembourg as it follows the wife of a man who, after he takes a job in Europe, falsely assumed she’ll be able to leave behind her top-secret life in the CIA; rights sold in various countries including France, Germany, and the U.K. From Alex Grecian is The Yard (Putnam, June 2012), a debut thriller from the author of the graphic novel series Proof (pubbed by Image and recently optioned by Samuel L. Jackson) that is set in Victorian London; rights sold in Israel, Russia, and the U.K. Gernert will be talking up Liz Moore’s Heft (Norton, Jan. 2012), a novel the agency says is about “two improbable heroes whose sudden connection transforms both their lives”; rights sold in France and Italy. From Toby Barlow is Babayaga, a debut novel that follows Russian witches in 1950s Paris from an n+1 contributor; no publisher yet in the U.S. Gernert is also still selling rights to the big fall novel from Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding (Little, Brown, Sept. 2011), which has been optioned by HBO and already acquired in a number of countries including Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and the U.K.
Sanford J. Greenburger
SJGA is coming to Germany with a new one from Brad Thor, Full Black (Atria, July 2011), which continues the author’s Scot Harvath series (he’s a former Navy SEAL who’s now in the Secret Service) and was recently optioned by Warner Bros.; the agency says WB is looking to build a “Jason Bourne–like” franchise around the books. On the nonfiction side there is The Breakup Bible (Three Rivers Press, Dec. 2011) by Rachel Sussman, a guide for the brokenhearted and dumped, from a licensed psychotherapist. Also in adult NF is a new one from Stairways to Heaven author Lorna Byrne, A Message of Hope from the Angels, in which the mystic offers exactly what the title indicates; rights sold in the U.K. On the children’s side, SJGA will be selling the middle-grade novel, The Masterwork of a Painting Elephant (FSG/Frances Foster Books, Oct. 2011) by Michelle Cuevas, about an orphan boy, raised by an elephant, who is a talented painter; rights sold in Germany, Israel, and Taiwan. And from Karen Sandler is the YA novel Tankborn (Tu Books/Lee & Low, Sept. 2011), about a teenager in a futuristic world where the populace is divided into humans and nonhuman slaves; rights sold in Italy.
ICM (handled by Curtis Brown)
ICM is trotting out a number of offerings from heavy-hitting American novelists, including the new one from Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, Home (Knopf, May 2012), about a Korean war veteran who is broken of his all-consuming self-loathing when he is forced to save his sister from medical abuse in the tiny Georgia town where the two were raised. From Nell Freudenberger is The Newlyweds (Knopf, May 2012), a love story the agency says is about “the exhilarations—and complications—of getting, and staying, wed”; Freudenberger was one of the New Yorker’s up-and-coming authors on its recent “20 Under 40” list. ICM also has Richard Ford’s latest, Canada (Ecco, June 2012), which it claims is the author’s greatest work to date, a “fast-paced, haunting, and visionary novel of vast landscapes, complex identities and fragile humanity”; rights sold in France and Germany. From Ben Fountain is Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ecco, May 2012), a satire set in Texas during the U.S. war in Iraq from the PEN/Hemingway award winner. On the nonfiction front is Michael J. Sandel’s What Money Can’t Buy (FSG, Apr. 2012), in which the author of Justice probes what is wrong with a world in which everything is for sale.