'Tiger’ to Free Press
In a big fiction buy for the Free Press, Amber Qureshi beat out bids from Spiegel & Grau and Grove for North American rights to Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger; Jay Mandel at William Morris conducted the auction. This debut novel by Time writer Adiga is written in the form of a long letter from a poor Indian villager who uses cunning and instinct to move beyond his station and become a successful entrepreneur in Bangalore. The book has already been preempted in Italy and Holland, and Ravi Mirchandani just won a five-house auction in the U.K. for Atlantic Books. The Free Press will publish in April 2008.
Two for Tower
Courtney Hodell at FSG has preempted a debut collection of stories entitled Executors of Important Energies as well as a novel-in-progress called Restoration by Wells Tower; Heather Schroder at ICM sold world rights. Tower’s stories, which feature carnies, marauding Vikings, disaffected teenagers, drunken veterinarians and dropouts of every stripe, have been published in Harper’s,the Paris Review and McSweeney’s; tentative pub date is summer 2008. The novel, which centers on a tumbledown North Carolina manse and the family within that is sliding from minor gentry to marginality, will follow in fall 2009.
Hyperion Wins POD Bestseller
Maryann McFadden, whose self-published first novel, The Richest Season, became a regional bestseller, has sold that novel and a second to Ellen Archer at Hyperion in an auction conducted by agent Victoria Sanders. The Richest Season is about a lonely, middle-aged corporate wife who runs away from home and settles on Pawleys Island, S.C., where she takes a job for room and board, caring for an elderly woman who is facing her own loss. Hyperion holds world English rights and Leslie Wells will edit; pub date for Season is summer 2008.
Black to White
Vanessa Mobley at the Penguin Press won an auction for Daniel Sharfstein’s Sun & Shade: Three American Families Journey from Black to White via Dan O’Connell at the Strothman Agency, who sold world rights. Sharfstein, a professor at Vanderbilt Law, will tell the stories of three families—a pre—Revolutionary War free black family that rose through the white Southern aristocracy; black Appalachian farmers who became, over decades, white Kentucky coal miners; and a black abolitionist family that tragically fell from prominence, to provide a sweeping history of race in America. Pub date is early 2009.
Possibly taking the subject matter to heart, on the eve of a scheduled auction Touchstone Fireside’s Zachary Schisgal preempted Nick Tasler’s The Impulse Factor via agent Harvey Klinger in a six-figure world rights deal. Tasler, the head of global research and development for think tank TalentSmart, will explore impulsive decision making from a historical perspective, discussing the newly discovered gene that controls these behaviors and showing readers how to control a natural genetic predisposition toward impulsiveness. Anticipated pub date is fall 2008.
Lindsey Moore at Crown won an auction for Rachel Greenwald’s Why He Didn’t Call You Back via Andrea Barzvi, who sold world rights from her new location in ICM’s Los Angeles office. Greenwald, the author of Find a Husband After 35 Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School, conducted “exit interviews” with more than 1,000 men after bad first dates to identify the 20 biggest mistakes women make to cause men to lose interest. She will discuss how women can think about meeting men and dating in order to present their best selves.
Silko Back to Viking
Leslie Marmon Silko will return to Viking, which published her first novel in 1977, for two new books, a memoir and a novel acquired by Stephen Morrison via Jin Auh at the Wylie Agency; Paul Slovak will edit. To be published first is The Turquoise Ledge, a memoir that incorporates stories about Native American history, wildlife and the landscape surrounding Silko’s Tucson home as well as characters and events from her Southwestern family; projected pub date is fall 2009. Next is a novel titled Blue Sevens, set in the Southwest of the near future, after an incident possibly caused by a space weapon leads to the instant death of half a million people in Tucson. Possible pub date is fall 2011. Silko’s most recent novel, Gardens in the Dunes, was published by S&S in 1999.
PW deputy reviews editor Jonathan Segura has sold his first, presently untitled novel to Sarah Hochman at Simon & Schuster via Steve Hanselman at Level5Media. This noir thriller set in Omaha features a burnt-out local newspaper reporter whose coverage of a seemingly random murder takes him inside a vicious criminal syndicate; pub date is 2008 and S&S has world rights.