This week in Page to Screen—PW's weekly column tracking film rights circulating and sold in Hollywood—a novel about Russian Ballerinas is the talk among scouts and a young pastry chef’s memoir makes the rounds.
One of the buzz books at the London Book Fair, Daphne Kalotay’s Russian Winter, is, we hear, already the talk among some scouts. This, despite the fact that agents at William Morris—Anna DeRoy is handling the film rights—say the book won't officially go out for film until edits come back. The novel, which Dorian Karchmar (also of WMA) sold to Harper's Jonathan Burnham right before the fair, follows a famous Russian ballerina who defects from Moscow after WWII, selling her prized jewelry collection in the prcoess. The book criss-crosses between present-day Boston and post-war Moscow and slowly unravels, through details about the sold jewels, deep-rooted mysteries in the ballerina’s life. The book sold at auction for a hefty sum, at least in the high six figures.
Also out for film is Dalia Jurgensen’s Spiced. Putnam published the book this month and Holly Frederick at Curtis Brown is shopping the film rights on behalf of Sally Wofford-Girand of Brick House. Jurgensen—currently the pastry chef at Dressler in Brooklyn—recounts her tumultuous entry into the culinary world. After quitting her office job to attend culinary school, she lands a dream gig at one of New York City’s top restaurants, only to discover life in the kitchen means long hours, crappy pay and a frat-like working environment. After romantic sparks fly between Jurgensen and her executive chef, the pair try to open their own restaurant without destroying their relationship in the process. Frederick, who said she’s pitching the project as “a culinary A Star is Born,” sees the story working well as either a feature or a TV series and is bringing the project to producers in both camps.