Kasparov Offers ‘Fake Values'
Agent Wayne Kabak, who opened WSK Management about a year ago after leaving William Morris, sold world English rights to A World of Fake Values to Robert Weil at Norton. The book, by chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov and Paypal cofounders Max Levchin and Peter Thiel, contends that we are not, as many people say, living in an age of unmatched technological innovation and, instead, have lost our way in this arena. Kabak says the authors argue that the ruling powers—namely, the government and financial giants—are no longer investing in broad efforts, like the space program, that truly lead to "transformative innovation." The book is scheduled for fall 2011.
Marnie Cochran at Villard bought North American rights to a cheeky, and visual, take on parenting, called Sh*t My Kids Ruined. Adapted from the blog of the same name (with the subtitle "or otherwise made filthy, distasteful, gross or painful"), the book, by Julie Haas Brophy, will feature photos and stories of children destroying everything from windows to VCRs to their parents' physique. The book, like the blog, will aim to offer a cathartic way for parents to laugh through, and off, the frustrations of child-rearing. Richard Pine at Inkwell brokered the deal.
Ballantine's Susanna Porter acquired Matthew Goodman's nonfiction account of reporters Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's 1889 race around the world. The currently untitled book, which agent Henry Dunow sold world rights to, follows the media event Bly and Bisland created when they each announced their intention to circle the globe faster than Jules Verne's fictional character Phineas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days, and each other.
Ecco's Lee Boudreaux bought U.S., Canadian, and open market rights, at auction, to Madeline Miller's debut, In the Armor of Achilles. Julie Barer, at Barer Literary, handled the deal for the novel, which is set during the Trojan War and narrated by Achilles' lover, Patroclus. Pulling heavily from Greek mythology, and The Iliad in particular, the work delves into the relationship between the two men as Patroclus follows Achilles into battle. Ecco is planning a summer 2012 publication, and rights have also been pre-empted in the U.K., where the book was acquired by Bloomsbury.
Winspear Re-Ups at Harper
Two-time Agatha award winner Jacqueline Winspear has signed to a two-book deal with her longtime editor, Jennifer Barth at Harper. Amy Rennert, of the Amy Rennert Agency, sold the books, which will be the author's ninth and 10th titles in her series featuring psychologist/investigator Maisie Dobbs.
Tegen Books Nabs New YA
Emmanuelle Alspaugh, at Judith Ehrlich Literary Management, closed a three-book deal for author Kathleen Peacock with Claudia Gabel at HarperCollins's Katherine Tegen Books. The lead title in the transaction, which Gabel bought North American rights to, is Peacock's debut, a YA novel called Hemlock, set in a small town that has been leveled by a "werewolf virus" known as Lupine syndrome. Tegen Book is planning a fall 2011 publication.
Dan Weiss at St. Martin's bought U.S., Canadian, and open market rights (save Israel and India) to Working Girl: The Fabulous Life on Thirty Grand by Laurel House. Marcy Posner at Folio Literary Management brokered the deal for House, who's a journalist in L.A. as well as a fitness spokesperson. Alyse Diamond will edit.