Hot Deals

Hot Deals
John F. Baker -- 12/4/00

Two More on Campaign Trail | Irish Saga Big in U.K., U.S.
Salem Witches Star for Warner | Heymann's Georgetown Gossip
Short Takes

Two More on Campaign Trail

Greenfield: Agony
on election night.
The presidential campaign that never ends has inspired two more big media guns to offer books. Jeff Greenfield, CNN's senior political and media commentator, has signed with Putnam's Neil Nyren to do a book racily called Oh, Waiter! One Order of Crow!: Inside the Strangest Presidential Election Finish in American History, to be published next spring. Nyren bought North American rights from Sterling Lord for a book that will begin on election night (when Greenfield uttered the despairing cry in his title as his network reversed itself on the voting yet again) and trace the weirdness that still continues nearly a month later, following through to however and whenever it all ends.
Meanwhile, over at Crown, editorial director Steve Ross announced the signing of a book by Roger Simon,chief political correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, who has been covering presidential campaigns for 25 years and has been working on a study of the Bush-Gore one for the past 18 months. The untitled book, said Ross, will offer a remarkable degree of access to campaign insiders on both sides, will be a considered view of the entire campaign and will offer such revelations as who Gore's back-up candidate for v-p was. It was signed, world
Simon: 18 months
on the trail.
rights, with agent Bob Barnett at Williams and Connolly, will be edited by Emily Loose and is scheduled for publication next April.

Irish Saga Big in U.K., U.S.One of those rags-to-riches publishing stories has just been played out in the two major English-speaking publishing capitals, courtesy of Giles Gordon of Curtis Brown U.K. He sold a huge manuscript (200,000 words) called At Swim Two Boys by Irishman-in-London Jamie O'Neill first to Simon & Schuster U.K. for a sum in excess of a quarter of a million pounds (therefore close to half a million dollars), then to Nan Graham at Scribner here for "a rather lower advance," but still a hefty one. O'Neill's story is a tightly woven Joycean-style narrative of a bittersweet gay affair between two youths during the Dublin rising of 1916. O'Neill labored 10 years over it, writing on a laptop in the small hours in his job as night porter at a London hospital. At S&S in London, managing director Ian Chapman called it the best thing he'd read in 10 years, and Graham called it "very special, very spectacular and important; he creates an utterly compelling world with great grace and authority." She got an exclusive look here because of a former Scribner relationship (her old colleague Tim Binding will be the book's London editor) and will publish a few months after its London appearance.

Salem Witches Star for WarnerThe Salem witch trials at the end of the 17th century that inspired Arthur Miller's The Crucible are at the center of a new novel that Warner president Jamie Raab has just bought--her first buy in some time. It's called The Fatal Key and is the work of Megan Chance, known hitherto as a romance novelist, but who, Raab thinks, will break out into mainstream with this book. It was the first sale made in her new spot by Marcy Posner, a former star at William Morris who recently joined the Linda Chester agency. Raab bought world English but Posner retained foreign, which she is already busy selling. Publication is set for spring 2002.

Heymann's Georgetown GossipBestselling biographer C. David Heymann, who has done gossipy books about Mrs. Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Kennedy and Barbara Hutton, has now turned his attention on those national queens of gossip: the women who operate behind the scenes in Washington. His The Georgetown Ladies Club: An Intimate Chronicle will describe the parties, the secrets, the rumors and maneuverings of five top hostesses in the capital: Sally Quinn, Katharine Graham, Evangeline Bruce, Pamela Harriman and Lorraine Cooper. It was bought by executive editorial director Emily Bestler at Pocket Books, who took U.S. and Canadian rights in a deal put together by Owen Laster at William Morris; she plans to publish in spring 2002.

Short Takes
Elaine Koster
has sold a second novel by Gwendolen Gross to Holt's Jennifer Barth even before Gross's first, Field Guide, is out; the new one is Woman Outdoors¸ described as the story of a young woman who finds herself on a series of dangerous trekking trips. Holt has North American and audio, will publish in spring 2002.... Gretchen Young at Hyperion paid six figures at auction to designer Tracy Porter for Tracy Porter's Delicious Home in a deal co-agented by Michael Harriot at Vigliano Associates and United Talent Agency, for North American rights, also spring 2002.... New Coast agent Jodie Rhodes has sold, for a low six figures for world rights, a book called When the Brain Can't Hear by a professor of audiology, Dr. Terri Bellis, to Pocket editorial director Tracy Behar, who preempted and sees the book as a companion to The Boy Who Couldn't Listen byKaren Foli, a sale reported on here last summer; both dealwith odd hearing disabilities, and Bellis had originally been asked to vet Foli's book; now she'll have her own.

Hot Deals will be on vacation during the week of 12/11/2000.