Morrow Gets Hitched with Choo
Agent Jenny Bent, who owns the Bent Agency, sold North American rights, for six figures at auction, to Yangsze Choo’s debut novel, The Ghost Bride. Rachel Kahan at Morrow acquired the book, which recently sold to Bonnier's Hot Key Books imprint in the U.K. The novel, Bent said, is set in the 1890s and is a “literary ghost story” about a woman who is asked to marry a dead man. Bent said the main character is “caught between the world of the living and the Chinese afterlife” and “must uncover her dead suitor’s secrets before she is forced to become his spirit bride.”
Norton Goes Behind ‘Separate but Equal’
John Glusman at Norton bought North American rights to Steve Luxenberg’s Separate in a deal brokered by agent Gail Ross of Ross Yoon. The nonfiction work explores the people involved in, and the events leading up to, the Supreme Court’s 1896 ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation. Glusman said that although the decision was later overturned, the case’s “damaging effects reverberate even today.” Luxenberg, who wrote the book Annie’s Ghosts, works at the Washington Post as an associate editor; Separate is set for summer 2015.
Wayne Takes ‘Valentine to S&S
Whiting Award winner Teddy Wayne is moving houses, having sold his newest novel, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, to Free Press. Senior editor Millicent Bennett took North American rights to the book from Jim Rutman at Sterling Lord Literistic. Wayne’s debut, Kapitoil, was published by HarperPerennial in 2010 and was a finalist for a number of literary prizes, including the NYPL’s Young Lions Fiction honor. Love Song, which is scheduled for spring 2013, is about, per S&S, “the underbelly of fame” and is narrated by a fictional pop star who is “trapped inside his own marketing machine.”
Hauser Gets ‘Between’ for Bloomsbury
Ethan Hauser, an editor at the New York Times, sold his debut novel, The Measures Between Us, to Anton Mueller at Bloomsbury. Markson Thoma agent Eleanor Jackson represented Hauser, selling world English rights in the deal. The book is set in Boston and follows a group of connected characters facing, as Bloomsbury explained, two major events: “the threat of a natural disaster and the spiraling [down] of one of their own.”
Bybee Lands at Montlake
Kelli Martin, at Amazon’s romance imprint, Montlake, bought world rights to a contemporary romance trilogy by Catherine Bybee. Jane Dystel, at Dystel & Goderich, handled the sale for Bybee, who has self-published a number of romance titles—she writes in the paranormal, erotic, and contemporary subgenres—and hit national bestseller lists with her work. (One of Bybee’s most popular titles is Wife by Wednesday.) The series is called Not Quite... and, Dystel said, features “sexy, rich bachelors, desperate hotel heiresses, and Caribbean scandals.”
Hot LBF Book ‘The Distance’ Closes in Canada
The buzzed about novel The Distance by Helen Giltrow, which we reported on from the London Book Fair and which Doubleday acquired in the States, has sold, at auction, to Knopf in Canada. Louise Dennys bought Canadian rights, in a two-book deal, from Sally Harding at the Cooke Agency. Harding closed the deal on behalf of British agent Judith Murray, of Greene & Heaton, who sold U.K. rights to the novel to Orion, at the London Book Fair. The book is about a London society woman who leads a secret life as the operator of a hi-tech company that helps its clients go off the grid.