Little, Brown Takes Two
Little, Brown's Geoff Shandler has preempted world rights to Mary Gabriel's The Family Marx; the sale was made by Brettne Bloom at Kneerim & Williams. The book will draw upon neglected and never-before published documents and journals to tell the turbulent, tragic story of Karl Marx and his family—his long-suffering wife, Jenny, three daughters and doomed son—in particular examining how the family dealt with life in the shadow of Marx's revolutionary activities, and how Marx himself struggled to reconcile his bourgeois aspirations for his family with his political and philosophical ideals. The London-based Gabriel, an editor at Reuters, is the author of two previous books.
Elsewhere at Little, Brown, Judy Clain teamed up with Warner's Les Pockell to acquire North American rights, at the end of a two-day auction, to Joseph Wambaugh's Hollywood Station; agent Nat Sobel made the high six-figure sale and Knopf and Putnam were both in the final round. Wambaugh's first new LAPD novel in 20 years is about two months in the lives of a number of cops who work out of this precinct in present-day Los Angeles. Sobel has also already accepted a preemptive offer for U.K. rights from Quercus. Little, Brown plans a January 2007 publication.
Another for S&G
Chris Jackson has made his first buy as executive editor at the high-profile new Doubleday imprint, a novel by Adam Mansbach titled The End of the Jews. Agent Victoria Sanders made the world rights sale. The book is a saga that traces a 20th-century Jewish-American family through three generations, mapping evolving issues of identity, the 50-year dissolution of a marriage, and the interplay between Jewish and black artists from the age of jazz to that of hip-hop. Jackson published Mansbach's most recent book, the satire Angry Black White Boy, or the Miscegenation of Macon Detornay, last year at Crown; Mansbach is also the author of two other books and was recently nominated for the 2006 Young Lions Award and the Granta Best American Writers under-35 list.
Riverhead's First Novel
Meanwhile, Spiegel and Grau's former colleagues are staying busy; Riverhead's Megan Lynch has just preempted a novel by Jami Attenberg titled The Kept Man, which tells the story of a young wife whose painter husband has fallen into a coma, and who discovers in his art troubling evidence about their marriage. Sterling Lord's Doug Stewart sold North American rights. Attenberg's debut story collection, Instant Love, is due out from Crown/Shaye Areheart this June; Riverhead will publish the novel in 2007.
Touchstone senior editor Cherise Davis has acquired a book by Jennifer Pryor, wife of Richard, about her relationship with the late comedy icon, from Larry Kirshbaum of LJK Literary Management. The yet-untitled book will tell the story of their tumultuous 30-year love affair, from the time they met in 1977, through marriage in the 1980s, reuniting in 1994 and eventual remarriage in 2001, as well as Richard's long battle with multiple sclerosis. The book will include material from Richard's never-before-seen diaries, which he kept intermittently over the course of many years. Touchstone holds North American rights; no pub date yet.
Alexander's New Score
Seattle Seahawks' star running back Shaun Alexander has signed with Oregon-based Christian publisher Harvest House to write Touchdown Alexander: My Story of Faith, Football and Pursuing the Dream, due out this August, just before the start of the 2006 NFL campaign. Aside from his athletic success, the book will touch on Alexander's Christian faith and his commitment to outreach—his eponymous nonprofit organization focuses on empowering and improving the lives of fatherless young men through education, athletics and leadership training. The book, acquired by Harvest House president Bob Hawkins, will be written with Cecil Murphey.
Fact, Fiction from Crown
John Glusman has acquired North American rights to Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Religion and the Untold Struggle for Islam's Generation by Mark LeVine, via agent Sandy Dijkstra. This tour of contemporary Islamic culture through the rock, hip-hop and heavy metal music that has evolved in Morocco, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Palestine will be published in the U.S. as a paperback original under Crown's Three Rivers Press imprint. LeVine is a UCLA historian and musician, and tentative pub date is spring 2008.
Elsewhere at Crown, Allison McCabe bought Laura Dietz's In the Tenth House from Esmond Harmsworth at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. Set in Edwardian London, the novel tells the story of a medium obsessed with tarot cards, trying to free herself from poverty and a gang of moneylenders; cultivating a following of upper-class patrons, she comes to the attention of a psychiatrist determined to prove that she is a fraud. An American living in England, Dietz has written her first novel; McCabe bought North American rights and tentative pub date is fall 2007.