Tarttelin Goes ‘Golden’ for Atria
The buzzed-about London Book Fair novel Golden Boy, by 24-year-old Abigail Tarttelin, has found a home in the States. Sarah Branham at Atria acquired the novel last week, for six figures at auction, after a two-day bidding war orchestrated by British agent Jo Unwin of Conville & Walsh. The novel follows a seemingly perfect 16-year-old named Max Walker whose life is sent into a tailspin by a traumatic event that threatens to reveal secrets about his wealthy family. The S&S imprint said the book, which is set for a spring 2013 release, is “as sensitively written” as Emma Donoghue’s Room, yet “as brutally honest” as Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin. Weidenfeld & Nicolson acquired U.K./Commonwealth rights to the novel right after the fair, and the book has also sold to Mondadori in Italy.
Bloomsbury Throws Down for 20-Year-Old’s Debut
Another book that got people talking at the London Book Fair, and which we covered in our dispatches from the event, The Bone Season, has been bought. In a three-book deal, Bloomsbury pre-empted world English rights to 20-year-old Samantha Shannon’s debut for six-figures from British agent David Godwin. Nancy Miller is the acquiring editor for Bloomsbury USA and Alexandra Pringle is handling for Bloomsbury U.K. The novel, which is the first in a planned seven-book series, opens in 2059 with the 19-year-old Paige Mahoney working in London’s seedy underbelly as someone who, as the publisher put it, “drops in and out of people’s minds.” The book follows Paige to Oxford, a city maintained in secret from the general population for two centuries, where she meets a strange and “beautiful” man who will “become her keeper.” Shannon grew up in West London and is currently a student at St. Anne’s College in Oxford, where she started the novel as a first-year student. Bone Season is set for a global publication in fall 2013.
Hoffmann Closes on Pulitzer Poet and Series for Tweens
In the first of two deals he closed last week, agent Markus Hoffmann of Regal Literary sold a memoir by Tracy K. Smith—who last month won the Pulitzer for her poetry collection Life on Mars (Graywolf Press)—to Robin Desser at Knopf. Desser took North American rights in the deal and the book, which is currently untitled, explores the relationship between Smith’s parents, who, as Hoffmann explained, "met in Alabama in the 1940s and later left the Civil Rights-era South for a new home in California." He said the book also follows "Smith’s personal journey (both intellectual and spiritual) out of the old certainties of home and faith into a more expansive kind of belonging and belief." The book is slated for a spring 2014 publication.
In the second deal, which was for two books, Hoffmann sold North American rights to a tween sci-fi series called Starbounders by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson. Barbara Lalicki at HarperCollins Children’s Books is the acquiring editor. Epstein and Jacobson are the authors of the successful middle-grade fantasy series The Familiars (which is also published by Harper and is currently in development at Sony Animation); Starbounders is about a boy who leaves his quiet suburban home to train at a secret academy called Indigo 8, which produces "starfighters." The first book in the series is scheduled for March 2013.
Root Doubles Down for Schwab
Agent Holly Root, of the Waxman Agency, sold, nearly simultaneously, an adult novel as well as a YA one for her client Victoria Schwab. In the YA sale, Abby Ranger at Disney-Hyperion took world English rights to the currently untitled sequel to Schwab’s forthcoming The Archived (which Ranger also acquired); in The Archived a teenage girl tries to uncover the secrets behind a supernatural library. In the second deal, Root sold world English rights to Schwab’s adult debut, Vicious, to Miriam Weinberg at Tor. Vicious, about two best friends whose college experiments to create supernatural abilities wind up turning them against each other, is planned for fall 2013.
SMP Delves into Breastfeeding Debate
Stacey Glick at Dystel & Goderich sold breastfeeding advocate Kimberly Seals Allers's The Big Letdown, a book she thinks will be "a game-changer in the market," at auction, for six figures, to Nichole Argyres at St. Martin’s Press. Argyres took world rights in the deal, and SMP has the title scheduled for winter 2014. Allers is a journalist and founder of the online magazine MochaManual.com, and in the book she examines breastfeeding culture at large; the subtitle is The True Story of How Politics, Feminism and Big Business Changed Breastfeeding. Glick said the book will be the first "narrative account" of the breat feedingin "big picture" and that it will "rival The Feminine Mystique in its reach to women, and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom in the controversial response it will elicit."