Barbara Ehrenreich tackles "the truth"; Arianna Huffington tackles success; Elizabeth Gilbert tackles fiction; Alice McDermott tackles being ordinary; and more.
A notable name on Baror’s list for the fair is Diana Gabaldon, who returns to her popular Outlander series with Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Delacorte, March 2014). The series has, to date, sold more than 25 million copies, and will be the basis of a new Starz series airing in 2014. Another notable series title will be Libba Bray’s Lair of Dreams (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 2014), the latest in the Diviners series. Then there’s The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi (Knopf, spring 2015), about a future Earth bedraggled by climate change and drought. The last hot novel for the agency is Jennifer Steil’s The Ambassador’s Wife (Doubleday, 2015), in which a pampered ambassador’s wife is kidnapped in an act of terror that ends up having complex and far-reaching consequences. For nonfiction, Stuart Shanker’s In the Zone (Penguin Press, 2015) “revolutionizes the way we think about raising our children” by illustrating new concepts in child rearing.
Curtis Brown London / Gelfman Schneider
CB, which is handling foreign rights for Gelfman Schneider (as well as for ICM), will be selling Joseph Wallace’s Invasive Species (Penguin, Dec.) for GS in Frankfurt. The novel, CB said, is in the vein of Michael Chrichton’s science thrillers and Justin Cronin’s The Passage; the book presents an apocalyptic scenario in which a predatory species is unleashed after the deforestation of the African rainforest. Another title on CB’s hot list is Elif Shafak’s untitled new novel (U.S. rights not yet sold) about a young boy named Jahan whose dedication to the white elephant he’s raised from birth brings him on a journey from India to Istanbul. (Sshafak, CB noted, is “the most widely read woman writer in Turkey.”) Another top title from the agency is The Girl in the Red Coat (U.S. rights not yet sold), a debut novel from Kate Hamer, a student in the Curtis Brown Creative Writing course; the agency compared the novel The Lovely Bones and Sister. Then there’s What Came Before by Anna George (U.S. rights not yet sold), a debut psychological thriller that CB said is about “the perils of falling in love.”
DeFiore and Company
Debut authors dominate DeFiore’s hot list for the fair. In fiction, there’s Autumn Falls (Delacorte, July 2014) by actress Bella Thorne, the first book in a series that tells the story of Autumn Falls, a quirky, imaginative 14-year-old whose high school life changes after an unexpected encounter with magic. There’s also The Left Behinds by first-time author David Potter (Crown Children’s, spring 2015), about a group of prep school kids who are taken to 1776 America by a new app on their smartphones and are determined to stop the murder of George Washington. Though it’s not a debut, another DeFiore title about teenagers on a valiant quest is The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey (Putnam, May 2014). In the second installment of the bestselling 5th Wave series, a small group of teens sets out to find a way to save humanity during the fifth wave of an alien invasion. The agency’s major nonfiction titles include The Gift of Failure by debut author Jessica Lahey (Harper, fall 2014), which espouses the importance of parents embracing opportunities for failure, and how children can learn from mistakes. Then there’s Secrets from the Eating Lab by Traci Mann (Harper Wave, May 2015), which culls data from two decades of research that suggest that diets do not work, and offers solutions on how to reach a maintainable weight.
Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
The California-based outfit will still be shopping Amy Tan’s November-slated novel Valley of Amazement (Ecco), which has sold in multiple countries. Another big book for the agency is Lisa See’s China Dolls (Random House, June 2014), which is set in San Francisco’s “Chop Suey Circuit” just before World War II. On the nonfiction side is Ian Morris’s War! What Is It Good For? (FSG, fall 2014), in which Stanford classics/history/archaeology professor argues that war has, as the agency explains, “been a benefit to humanity.” From Stanford research scholar Adrienne Mayor is Amazons in Love and War: Women Warriors in the Ancient World (Princeton University Press, fall 2014), in which ancient Greek stories of Amazon women fighters are brought to life. The agency will also be selling American Woman by Robert Pobi (U.S. rights not sold), the follow-up to his novel in the author’s Alex Hemingway series, River of the Dead.
Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
Among DGLM’s big books in Germany is Michael Callahan’s Searching for Grace Kelly (HMH, spring 2015), a debut novel about New York City’s women-only Barbizon Hotel during its heyday, and one wide-eyed inhabitant; Callahan is the executive editor of Philadelphia magazine. Also on the agency’s hot list is Brothers and Bones (on submission in the U.S.), a self-published bestseller by former attorney and screenwriter James Hankins about a federal prosecutor whose life is turned upside when secrets from his past come bubbling to the surface. Another self-published bestseller that DGLM is selling at the fair is Madeline Sheehan’s Undeniable, which is the first title in a five-part self-published romance series about the “princess” of a motorcycle club. Cassia Leo has written Shattered Hearts, a new adult series about a college dropout who meets a man that changes her path (U.K. rights sold). And from Angie Stanton comes Royally Lost (Harper Teen, May 2014), a contemporary YA romance about a teenage girl who must bond with her new stepmother and father, during a vacation in Germany.
Foundry Literary + Media
On the agency’s hot list is Jeff Bauman’s Stronger (Grand Central, April 2014), a memoir by a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings who lost his legs during the attacks; Bret Witter (Dewey) is cowriting. Bestselling YA author Lauren Oliver has written her first adult novel, Rooms (Ecco, Sept. 2014); it’s about goings-on in a country house that two ghosts inherit after the rich, older bachelor who lived there dies. Shelly King has The Moment of Everything (Grand Central, Sept. 2014), a debut novel about a woman who gets a job as a bookseller after being suddenly downsized by the Silicon Valley startup where she worked. Foundry will also be talking up Crucible (Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, fall 2014), a new YA series by bestselling author Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed), about a girl lost in a parallel universe ruled by witches, where, the agency explains, “scientists are burned at the stake by an alternate version of [the heroine].” And Paper Lantern Lit cofounder Lexa Hillyer has a YA debut called Proof of Forever (Harper Teen, spring 2015) about, Foundry says, “four friends who receive an unlikely chance to relive the perfect summer of their 15th year... and the devastating secret that could unravel it all.”
The Gernert Company
The agency will be highlighting several fiction titles, including Someone (FSG, Sept.), the “masterful” new novel from National Book Award–winner Alice McDermott about the “sharp pains and unexpected joys lived by an ordinary woman.” Also big on the fiction list is debut novelist Fiona McFarlane’s The Night Guest (FSG/Faber and Faber, Oct.), a “haunting story” of the push-pull relationship between two women; the book has sold in 15 foreign deals and lauded with blurbs from authors like Kate Atkinson. Another hot novel is The Accident by Chris Pavone (Crown, March 2014), author of The Expats and winner of the Edgar Award for best first novel. Set within the New York book-publishing world, the novel describes the “heart-racing hunt for an anonymous manuscript that leaves a trail of ruined careers and lives in its wake.” Also included on Gernert’s list is Diane Cook’s Man V. Nature (U.S. rights not yet sold), which the agency calls a “dark” and “surreal” story collection about humanity’s sometimes twisted interactions with nature. In nonfiction there’s Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse’s Blockbusters (Henry Holt, October 2013), which explores how the “apparently risky strategy of making big bets is key to achieving consistent success in the entertainment industry.”
Sanford J. Greenburger Associates
On SJGA’s hot list in Germany is Susan Strecker’s Night Blindness (St. Martin’s/Dunne, Sept. 2014), a debut novel about a young woman reconnecting with “her tragic memories of the past, and her long-lost love.” The Game by Emma Hart (U.S. rights not yet sold) is the first title in a two-book adult series about an arrogant college playboy and the girl who despises him; he wants to make her fall for him, while she, in turn, tries to “play the player.” Hart self-published the series, which became a bestseller, at age 19, and rights have sold in Germany, Italy, the U.K., and the Czech Republic. Lexi Ryan has Unbreak Me, another self-published bestseller, which is the first of two titles in a new adult series about a “hot, young love triangle”; rights sold in Germany. SJGA also has former book editor M.P. Cooley’s Ice Shear (William Morrow, spring 2014), the first title in a debut crime series that, the agency says, “heralds the arrival of a new complex, intriguing, female protagonist.” And on the nonfiction front is Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster (New Press, Feb. 2014), a book attributed to the Union of Concerned Scientists (specifically written by two leading nuclear scientists and a Pulitzer-winning journalist), about the meltdown at the titular power plant; the agency calls it an “edge-of-your-seat story” that tells a larger tale about “the saga of a technology promoted through the careful nurturing of a myth.”
ICM (handled by Curtis Brown)
Among the agency’s big titles in Germany this year is David Bezmogis’s The Betrayers (Little, Brown, Aug. 2014) about a Russian dissident who, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, meets the man who outed him to the KGB 30 years earlier. Another big novel for ICM is sculptor Annie Weatherwax’s debut How It Ends (Scribner, summer 2014), about a mother and daughter living together on the edge of financial ruin during the Great Recession. On the YA side, there’s bestseller Jennifer E. Smith’s The Geography of You and Me (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Apr. 2014), about two teens who meet and fall for each other during a blackout in New York City. The other big children’s title from the agency is Alice Hoffman’s Nightbird (Random/Wendy Lamb, spring 2015), which ICM calls a “work of modern folklore” about a girl in a Berkshires town known for being home to a mythical winged beast. On the nonfiction side is Naomi Klein’s The Message (Simon & Schuster, Apr. 2014), in which the Canadian columnist and international bestseller tackles climate change. And, from Nickel and Dimed author Barbara Ehrenreich comes Living with a Wild God (Grand Central, Apr. 2014), a memoir about her quest, as ICM puts it, “to discover ‘the Truth’—about the universe and everything else.”
On the fiction side, Inkwell will be pushing Pearl S. Buck’s The Eternal Wonder (Open Road Media, Oct.), a recently discovered novel by the late author—she died in 1973, and wrote the book late in life—chronicles tells the coming-of-age of Randolph Colfax, who winds up patrolling the demilitarized zone in South Korea. The agency will also be selling rights to The Possibilities (S&S, May 2014), a new novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, author of The Descendants, about a grieving mother struggling with the death of her son, whose life is changed when a strange girl with a secret enters her life. The other big novel Inkwell has is Colleen McCullough’s Bittersweet (S&S, Nov. 2014), which the agency says was pitched as “the spiritual successor to The Thorn Birds” and is a sweeping narrative, set just before the Depression, about four sisters in small Australian town. On the nonfiction side is Marc Goodman’s The Global Hack (Doubleday, 2015), which the agency calls a “fascinating story of impending perils” from a man with the unique title of “futurist in residence” for the FBI. Another hot title will be Arianna Huffington’s The Third Metric (Crown, spring 2014), in which the 21st-century media mogul explains why the current model of success—for men and women—is not working, and why we need to redefine it.
Janklow & Nesbit Associates
On the agency’s list of promising titles is The Kept by debut novelist James Scott (HarperCollins, Jan. 2014). Likened to Cold Mountain and All the Pretty Horses, the “searing” and “heartbreaking” novel describes the journey of a mother and son in search of the men responsible for brutally slaying the rest of their family. Then there’s The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice (HarperCollins, Jan. 2014), son of Anne Rice. Described as “addictively readable,” the supernatural horror novel follows a group of teenagers who find themselves with mysterious and dangerous powers. Also at the top of the agency’s fiction list is The Land of Steady Habits by Ted Thompson (Little, Brown, Mar. 2014), another debut novelist. Thompson, who Janklow & Nesbit compares to John Irving and Rick Moody, tells the story of 60-something Anders Hill’s “clumsy, hilarious, and heartbreaking journey to reconcile his past with his present.” Thompson is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was awarded the Truman Capote Fellowship. Originally self-published author Matthew Mather’s sci-fi novel Cyberstorm, which was self-published in March 2013, is another title of note. Rights have been sold in several foreign markets, and 20th Century Fox optioned film rights. Janklow & Nesbit’s hot nonfiction title is Thomas Cahill’s Heretics and Heroes (Doubleday/Talese, Nov.), the sixth volume of his Hinges of History series; the agency calls it an “accessible” history of the Renaissance and Reformation. Cahill is a retired professor—he taught at, among other schools, Fordham and Seton Hall—and also worked as a journalist, and, for six years, was director of religious publishing at Doubleday.
William Morris Endeavor
One of the books WME will be pushing hard in the rights center is Laline Paull’s The Bees (Ecco, May 2014), a novel set entirely in a beehive. Paull has written for theater, TV, and film in both the U.S. and U.K. The agency will also be selling The Boy with a Thorn in His Joints & Other Success Stories Beyond the Borders of the Medical Establishment by Susannah Meadows (Random House, pub date not yet set). The book grew out of a New York Times Magazine article by regular contributor Meadows about her young son’s crippling, and rare, form of juvenile arthritis. She received an outpouring of responses from people dealing with similar situations; the book will feature these stories about people confronting rare diagnoses who are being forced to find solutions outside the medical establishment. The agency will also be shopping How to Be Cool (Random/Spiegel & Grau, spring 2015), the debut book by Garance Doré, in which the Vogue Paris columnist and blogger/illustrator/photographer/stylist will, WME says, offer “a comprehensive guide to pursuing a life of cool.” Also on the agency’s hot list is A Sliver of Light (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mar. 2014), a memoir by Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Josh Fattal, three American hikers captured in Iran in 2009 and held captive in Evin Prison in Tehran. WME will also be selling University of Wisconsin math professor Jordan Ellenberg’s How Not to Be Wrong (Penguin, June 2014), which the agency says will explain to readers “the secret language of math,” making them better equipped to understand the everyday onslaught of numbers, from mortgage rates to batting averages.
Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency
JVNLA will be talking up Maud Casey’s The Man Who Walked Away (Bloomsbury, Mar. 2014). The agency says the new book, by the author of The Shape of Things to Come, imagines the trips of Albert Dadas, an actual psychiatric patient in Bordeaux during the 19th century who wandered throughout Europe before seeking treatment. JVNLA will also be selling L.A.-based yoga-teacher-to-the-stars Meagan McCrary’s Pick Your Yoga Practice (New World Library, Dec.), which the agency says is “unlike any other yoga book on the market” and helps practitioners choose which version of yoga is best for them. Margot author Jillian Cantor has written Searching for Sky (Walker, spring 2014), which the agency describes as “a YA Room with some Blue Lagoon thrown in”; the book is about a 16-year-old girl who is living with a boy on a small, uninhabited island in the South Pacific until the pair is rescued and transported to California. Then there’s The Color of Light (Stone Creek Press, Oct.), a debut novel by Helen Maryles Shankman that the agency says “combines the art world, vampires, the Holocaust, and passion.”
Jane Rotrosen Agency
The agency will be touting a lineup of hot novels, and first up is Sarah Addison Allen’s Lost Lake (St. Martin’s, Feb. 2014), a tale of second chances at a rundown lakeside resort. The inspiration for CBS’s Intelligence, John Dixon’s Phoenix Island (Pocket, Jan. 2014), tells the story of a boot camp for troubled children with vast and deadly secrets. Then there’s Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner (Dutton, Jan. 2014). In Gardner’s novel, Boston homicide detective D.D. Warren, badly injured in the line of duty, chases a serial killer. In Red Hill (Atria, Oct.), Jamie McGuire, author of Beautiful Disaster, sets a love story against the backdrop of an apocalyptic world. Lastly, Richard Montanari’s The Stolen Ones features the author’s series homicide duo as the pair works a cold case in the catacombs under Philadelphia.
Trident Media Group
Making Trident’s big-books list this year is Lila (FSG, fall 2014), the new novel from Pulitzer Prize–winner Marilynne Robinson, with U.K. rights sold to Virago. Another hot fiction title is The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days by Michele Weber Hurwitz (Random/Wendy Lamb, April 2014), which traces 14-year old Nina’s do-gooding summer vacation. Then there’s the first title in the new Nova series, Breaking Nova, by Jessica Sorensen (Grand Central, Oct. 2014), author of the Ella and Micha series. The title has already been released as an e-book. For nonfiction, the agency will feature Black and White: The Way I See It by Richard Williams (Atria, May 2014), father of tennis champs Venus and Serena Williams. In the book, Williams tells the story of how he “took on the predominantly white world of tennis” and taught his daughters the game after “wrestling them away from local gangs” in Los Angeles. Lastly, there’s Andrew Nagorski’s In Pursuit: The Saga of the Nazi Hunters (S&S). A follow-up to Hitlerland, In Pursuit is the story of what happened to the Nazi war criminals who fled Europe following the end of World War II and the close of the trials at Nuremberg.
The Black-Eyed Blonde (Holt, spring 2014) by Booker Prize–winning author John Banville is among the big fiction titles the Ed Victor Agency will be touting this year. Written under the author’s pseudonym Benjamin Black, the novel stars Philip Marlowe, the detective made famous by Raymond Chandler. The agency will also feature two debut novels—Weightless by Sarah Bannan (St. Martin’s) and Viper Wine by journalist Hermione Eyre (U.S. rights not yet sold; Jonathan Cape U.K., April 2014). The agency describes Weightless as a coming-of-age tale for the digital age; “a novel of adolescence, sex, social networking, cliques, and bullying.” Eyre’s novel is based on actual events in England and shows “1632 rendered in Pop Art prose.” The standout middle-grade title is Temple Boys by London-based writer Jamie Buxton (FSG, spring 2014), about a member of a gang “fighting for survival” in Jerusalem in 33 C.E. On the nonfiction side, the agency will feature The Glass Closet (Harper Business, June 2014) by John Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley, former group chief executive of BP; the book explores “the issue of homophobia, which still pervades corporations around the world.”
One of the titles on WH’s hot list is bestseller Joseph Finder’s Suspicion (Dutton, summer 2014), about a father, struggling financially, who takes a loan from a fellow parent that brings him into, the agency says, “a minefield of deceit and duplicity.” Another big book the agency will be shopping is John Twelve Hawks’s Spark (Doubleday, fall 2014); WH said the thriller/literary novel, which is set in the near-future, “examines the meaning of freedom and self-determination in a world without either.” Natchez Burning by Greg Iles (William Morrow, spring 2014) brings back the bestseller’s popular character Penn Cage; WH says the book “explores the legacy of racism in America.” Then there’s Stephanie Knipper’s debut, The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin (U.S. rights not yet sold), about a mute 10-year-old who can heal with her touch; WH says the book was pitched as something “in the vein of Garden Spells and Language of Flowers.” On the nonfiction front is rock star/blogger/Kickstarter-phenom Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking (Grand Central, fall 2014), which is based on her February 2013 TED talk, that went viral and has been viewed over 300 million times.
The Wylie Agency
Wylie will be promoting a roster full of big names at this year’s fair. The major novels include The Circle (Knopf/McSweeney’s, Oct.) by Dave Eggers, and A Signature of All Things (Viking Penguin, Oct.), Eat, Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert’s return to fiction. Touted as an “enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery,” Gilbert’s novel follows the fortunes of one extraordinary family. Also notable on the fiction front is the latest from Martin Amis, The Zone of Interest (U.S. rights not yet sold), which the agency describes as “a love story with a violently unromantic setting.” Hot nonfiction titles on the agency’s list include Henry Kissinger’s Untitled on World Order (Penguin Press). The agency says that in the book, Kissinger “traces the roots of today’s escalating tensions, assesses how various cultures views of world order differ, and considers how to move toward a common perspective.” Yet another prominent nonfiction title is Double Down by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin (Penguin Press, Nov.), authors of the bestselling account of the 2008 presidential election, Game Change. In Double Down, the duo renders an “equally compelling” narrative about the “circuslike Republican nomination fight, the rise and fall of Mitt Romney,” and the road to the reelection of Barack Obama.