At this year’s publishing pow-wow in Germany: John Banville channels Raymond Chandler; Daniel Woodrell explores a 1929 American bombing; Michael Pollan gets elemental; Elif Batuman tries fiction; and Lionel Shriver goes to Iowa.
On Baror’s hot list is Gabriel Bakrim’s debut novel, The Weight of Souls, which the agency calls “an epic tale of greed, salvation, and love against all odds,” comparing it to work by authors like Ken Follett and Philippa Gregory; the author, who’s English, is a former bookseller and drama teacher. Another big title for Baror is The Terror author Dan Simmons’s The Abominable (Reagan Arthur, Oct. 2013), a novel set in 1925 that follows three friends summiting Mt. Everest who find that something else is with them on the mountain. From Cassandra Clare and Joshua Lewis is The Shadowhunters’ Codex (S&S, Nov. 2013), an illustrated guide to the world introduced in Clare’s series The Shadowhunters; the book is timed to follow the release of the Sony Pictures adaptation, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which is scheduled to hit in summer 2013. On the nonfiction front is Napoleon Chagnon’s Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes—the Yanomamo and the Anthropologists (S&S, Feb. 2013), a memoir from an anthropologist that the agency says offers his “an indictment of an academic discipline that has lost its scientific identity and become instead... a political organization.” Chagnon, before he retired, taught at UC Santa Barbara. The other big nonfiction title from Baror is Elizabeth Marshall Thomas’s A Million Years With You: A Memoir of Life Observed (HMH, June 2013), another personal account from a noted anthropologist, now in her 80s, reflecting on her life.
Curtis Brown/ Gelfman Schneider
Tracy Chevalier’s The Last Runaway (Penguin, Jan. 2013) is among the big fiction titles CB will be touting. In the novel, set in Ohio during the waning years of slavery, Chevalier (The Girl with the Pearl Earring) offers a “tale of courage, community, and female friendship,” as the agency explains; rights sold in the U.K. and Canada. From Aussie writer Mary Rose MacColl is In Falling Snow (Penguin, Oct.), a novel about a nurse serving in France during WWI; rights sold in Australia/New Zealand and Canada. The agency also has Jeffery Deaver’s latest, The Kill Room (Grand Central, June 2013), the 10th entry in the author’s Lincoln Rhyme series; rights sold in the U.K., Czech Republic, Germany, and Holland. And from British journo William Shaw is a debut crime novel, Song for the Dead (Mulholland, fall 2013), set in London during the ’60s; rights sold in the U.K. and Germany.
DiFiore & Company
A hot title on the agency’s list is Rick Yancey’s The Fifth Wave (Putnam, May 2013), the first book in a new romantic sci-fi trilogy from the Printz Honor winner; rights have sold in 18 countries, and a movie deal has also closed. From Joel Fuhrman is The End of Dieting (Harper One, Jan. 2014), about the dangers of fad diets and how to eat healthy from the author of the current bestseller, Eat to Live. Molecular biologist and HIV researcher Nathalia Holt has The Berlin Patients (Dutton, 2014), a nonfiction title that, the agency said, "explores the moving personal stories of two men whose HIV infections were cured in distinct yet essentially related ways." And then there’s Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig’s It Starts with Food (Victory Belt, June 2012), which delivers, as the agency put it, a 30-day “nutritional reset” to help you change how you eat.
Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
Atop SDLA’s notable books is the latest from Amy Tan, Valley of Amazement (Ecco, fall 2013), which is set in San Francisco and Shanghai, and follows a Chinese-American courtesan from the late 19th century into the 1930s; rights sold in Canada, Germany, Poland, Spain (Spanish and Catalan), and the U.K. Bestseller Lisa See has China Dolls (RH, June 2013), about three women who forge a friendship while trying out to be “China Doll” dancers at various nightclubs in the 1930s and ’40s. Another novel the agency will be pushing is Chitra Divakaruni’s Oleander Girl (Free Press, Feb. 2013), about a young Indian girl, the sole heir to her family’s fortune, who learns of a shocking secret on the evening she is to be married; rights sold in India. On the nonfiction front, SDLA has Anchee Min’s latest memoir, Cooked Seed (Bloomsbury, Apr. 2013), in which the author—she escaped China’s Cultural Revolution in the 1970s and wrote about the trauma she suffered in her native country in the international bestseller Red Azalea (Knopf, 1994)—returns to the subject of her own life more than a decade after the publication of her first memoir. And from Mike Davis there’s Who Will Build the Ark: Human Solidarity Faces the Second Flood (Holt, June 2013), which the agency says will examine “the complex interplay between the sinking global economy and the catastrophic climate change over the next decade.”
Dystel & Goderich
On DGLM’s hot list is Maze Runner author James Dashner’s new YA series, the Mortality Doctrine, beginning with book one, The Eye of Minds (Delacorte, fall 2013), about a gamer in a virtual world who gets ensnared in a dangerous situation. Another YA title for the agency is Nova Ren Suma’s 17 & Gone (Dutton, Mar. 2013), about a 17-year-old whose visions of the disappearances of other teen girls have her convinced she will be nabbed. On the steamy side is Abbi Glines’s Vincent Boys books—The Vincent Boys (Simon Pulse, fall 2012) and The Vincent Brothers (winter/spring 2013)—which are romance novels set in Alabama and originally self-published; rights sold in the U.K. From Scottish author Samantha Young is the originally self-published contemporary romance On Dublin Street, about an emotionally broken woman who meets a man that, the agency says, “proposes an unusual arrangement that will give them both more than they bargained for.” Then there’s John M. Adams’s The Millionaire and the Mummies (SMP, spring 2013), a biography of Theodore Davis, a robber baron and archeologist in the early 20th century who, among other things, is credited with discovering a whopping 18 Egyptian tombs.
Foundry Literary + Media
Making Foundry’s big books list is Sasha Grey’s The Juliette Society (Grand Central), a debut erotic novel from the porn star (and lead in Steven Soderbergh’s film The Girlfriend Experience) about a film student who enters the world of a secret club where the patrons are, the agency said, exploring their “deepest, often darkest, sexual fantasies”; the Agency Group (in England) is co-repping and rights have sold in the U.K. (in a six-figure pre-empt) and Russia, with offers pending in other countries. From bestseller Randy Susan Meyers is The Comfort of Lies (Atria, Apr. 2013), about three mothers drawn together through one young girl; rights sold in numerous countries including Germany and Holland. The other big fiction title for Foundry is Rhonda Riley’s debut, The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope (Ecco, Apr. 2013), about a young woman in Appalachia at the close of WWII. In nonfiction there’s Denise Kiernan’s The Girls of Atomic City (Touchstone, Mar. 2013), about the women recruited to work in the small town that was built expressly to create fuel for the Manhattan Project (America’s development program focused on creating the first atomic bomb). And in the YA category is Jacqueline Green’s Truth or Dare (Poppy, Apr. 2013), a thriller about three teenage girls suffering the consequences of a game of Truth or Dare gone awry.
The Gernert Company
Among Gernert’s hot novels is Robin Sloan’s debut, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (FSG, Oct. 2012), an adventure story set in an all-hours book shop; rights sold in numerous countries. From Walter Walker is the Cape Cod thriller Crime of Privilege (Ballantine, May 2013), which the agency said “explores power, corruption, and class divide.” Among two literary debuts is Iowa Writers’ Workshop fellow Mario Zambrano’s Loteria, about an 11-year-old girl who uses the titular game (a Mexican variation on Bingo) to “piece together the story of how her family has fallen apart.” The other literary debut is The Night Guest by short story writer Fiona McFarlane; the agency calls the work, set on the Australian coast, a “suspenseful novel about aging, trust, dependence, and fear, told through the story of two very particular women.” The major nonfiction book on Gernert’s list is the pop science entry Mastermind: Thinking Like Sherlock Holmes (Viking, Jan. 2013) by Harvard grad Maria Konnikova who writes Scientific American’s column “Lessons from Sherlock Holmes.”
Sanford J. Greenburger
Among the notable fiction titles for the agency is Nancy Bilyeau’s The Chalice (Touchstone, Mar. 2013), a historical romance set in 1538 and a sequel to the author’s historical thriller The Crown; rights sold in the U.K. and Germany. From Ruth Cardello is the Legacy Collection, a four-book romance series that the author began self-publishing in 2011; rights sold in Brazil with offers pending in other countries. Then there’s the horror thriller from Lynn Hightower, The Piper (Severn House, Dec. 2012), inspired by the legend of the Pied Piper. The other big novel SJGA will be pushing is Fifth Avenue by Christopher Smith, a debut thriller that the author originally self-published; rights sold in Bulgaria. On the nonfiction side is Michael Sims’s The Adventures of Henry Thoreau: A Young Man’s Unlikely Path to Walden Pond, a biography of the American writer from the author of the lauded The Story of Charlotte’s Web; rights sold in the U.K. In the YA category, the agency will be shopping Olivia Samms’s Sketchy (Amazon Children’s, spring 2013), the first title in a debut suspense series featuring a rebellious, and recently sober, young heroine.
ICM (handled by Curtis Brown)
On the fiction side, ICM’s big books are Jonathan Miles’s Want Not (HMH, 2013), the latest from the author of Dear American Airlines, which the agency says uses “waste as a common thread.” The other big fiction title ICM will be shopping is Treason by former CIA man Jason Matthews (S&S/Scribner, concurrent U.S./U.K., June 2013), a debut thriller that features a sexy young operative at the heart of the Russian intelligence machine, trying to uncover a mole; rights sold in Japan, Poland, and Serbia. On the nonfiction side is Michael Pollan’s latest, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (Penguin, Apr. 2013), which the agency says focuses on the four classic elements of fire, water, air, and earth “to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink;” rights sold in Holland. From Harvard Law professors (and consultants) Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen is Pull: The Science & Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When It Is Off-Base, Unfair, or Poorly Delivered, and When, Frankly, You’re Not In the Mood) (Penguin U.S./U.K./Canada, 2014); rights sold in Brazil, China, Holland, and Korea. And from Amanda Lindhout writing with Sara Corbett is A House in the Sky (Scribner, 2013), a memoir chronicling the author’s time as a hostage—460 days—in Somalia, where she was abducted in 2008 while reporting from the country; rights sold in Brazil, Canada, Holland, and the U.K.
A big fiction book for Inkwell will be Ivy Pochoda’s Visitation Street (Ecco, Aug. 2013), a Brooklyn story the agency describes as “a gritty urban drama”; an offer in Italy was pending at press time. From the Orange Prize–winning author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver, is Big Brother (HC, U.S./U.K./Australia/Canada, May 2013), about an Iowa family turned upside down when their son and brother, now a jazz pianist in New York City and also 200 pounds overweight, comes to visit. Elizabeth Silver has The Execution of Noa P. Singleton (Crown/Headline, U.S./U.K., summer 2013), about a woman on death row who, months before her execution, is visited by an attorney (and the mother of her victim), looking to win her clemency; rights sold in Poland. One of the nonfiction books Inkwell will be pushing is Wharton professor Adam Grant’s Give and Take (Viking, spring 2013), which argues that the most successful people are generous, and, the agency said, “presents the fascinating secrets to givers’ success”; rights sold in Israel, Italy, Korea, Taiwan, and the U.K. Also on the nonfiction front is Jo Robinson’s Eating on the Wild Side (Little, Brown, 2013), a food manifesto from the Washington State native (who’s authored a number of nonfiction books and has her own notable garden) that the agency said reveals an alternative to our current diet, which is too reliant on high starch, and high-sugar, foods.
Janklow & Nesbit
A hot title for the agency in the rights center will be Jim Gavin’s Middle Men (S&S, Jan 2013), a debut collection of linked stories the agency says is “about working-class men” and “evocative of Raymond Carver.” Another collection, The Miniature Wife and Other Stories (Riverhead, Jan. 2013), also a debut, is from Manuel Gonzalez; it’s about “characters where the phenomenal doesn’t necessarily become special (and often becomes dangerous).” From Bee Ridgway there’s the romance The River of No Return (Dutton, Apr. 2013), another debut from a pseudonymous author (it’s a him) with a Ph.D. from Cornell. And from 88-year-old William H. Gass is Middle C (Knopf, Mar. 2013), about an Austrian father/husband who flees his country before WWII, and his son, raised in Ohio, who years later “turns to music and fantasy to reconcile unanswered questions of his life.” On the nonfiction side is Dr. Mitchell Gaynor’s Dr. Gaynor’s Ecogenetic Diet (Viking, Sept. 2013), a plan from a professor at Manhattan’s Weill Medical College who the agency says is known for “cutting-edge methods to prevent and treat disease through diet and nutrition.” On the children’s front is the middle-grade novel I Represent Sean Rosen by Jeff Baron (Greenwillow Books, Mar. 2013), about a 14-year-old boy intent on becoming a successful Hollywood writer.
William Morris Endeavor
On WME’s hot list is Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser’s Command and Control (Penguin Press, U.S./U.K., 2013), the subject of which Penguin Press’s Ann Godoff will be announcing at the fair. Another big nonfiction title for the agency is Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In (Knopf, Mar. 2013), which WME describes as a “call to action to confront the challenges facing women everywhere.” The third big nonfiction book for WME is Daniel Bergner’s currently untitled work on female desire, which is expanded from the author’s January 2009 New York Times Magazine story, “What Do Women Want?” which probed, as the agency explains, “what this post-feminist generation of women truly want from their sex lives, and what really makes them tick.” On the fiction side is PEN/Hemingway finalist (included among the 2010-New Yorker “20 Under 40”) Daniel Alarcon’s At Night We Walk in Circles, which is set in an unnamed South American country and follows a playwright/actor “on his own disappearing journey.” Then there’s Paul Yoon’s Snow Hunters (S&S, Aug. 2013), about a Korean War refugee in Brazil who becomes an apprentice to a Japanese tailor; rights sold in Italy.
Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency
One of JVNLA’s big books in Germany is Gina Frangello’s A Life in Men (Algonquin, winter 2014), a novel the agency says “tells the powerful story of two women and the men who passionately orbit their lives”; Frangello teaches fiction at Chicago’s Columbia College. From bestseller Phillip Margolin is Worthy Brown’s Daughter (HC, summer 2014), about a recently widowed attorney in the Old West who arrives in Oregon hoping for a fresh start. Author S.D. Perry has Summer Man (47 North, May 2013), about a 16-year-old girl in the fictional town of Port Isley whose frightening visions start coming true. And from Slash Coleman is The Bohemian Love Diaries (Lyons Press, Apr. 2013), a memoir from the artist who oversaw the PBS special, then Off-Broadway one-man show, The Neon Man and Me. On the children’s side is Shana Mlawski’s The Hammer of Witches (Lee & Low’s Tu Books imprint, Apr. 2013), a fantastical tale about a 14-year-old apprentice to a bookmaker.
Jan Rotrosen Agency
The agency will be touting Lisa Gardner’s Touch & Go (Dutton, Feb. 2013), about a wealthy family that mysteriously disappears with no request for ransom. Another thriller the agency will be talking up is Iris Johansen’s Sleep No More (SMP, Oct. 2012), the latest featuring the author’s heroine, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan (and protagonist of Johansen’s bestseller, Eve). From Michael Palmer there’s Political Suicide (SMP, Jan. 2013)—the author’s recurring character, Dr. Lou Welcome, investigates a murder in which the main suspect is a fellow doctor accused of offing one of his prominent patients. In How I Came to Sparkle Again (SMP, Oct. 2012), Kaya McLaren delivers a novel about two women and a young girl who, the agency says, “meet at a moment of change for each.” And then there is Tami Hoag’s The 9th Girl (Dutton, Jan. 2013), in which the author brings back detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Lisa, this time investigating a case about a string of kidnappings of young girls in Minneapolis.
Trident Media Group
Among Trident’s big books are bestselling romance author Maya Banks’s Breathless trilogy, about three high-powered men and the women they fall for, which sold just before the fair to Berkley for seven figures; rights have been pre-empted in Italy and, at press time, an auction was underway in Portugal. From LAPD officer and Amazon bestseller Kathy Bennett is the e-book original, A Deadly Blessing, about a female LAPD detective looking for the kidnapped daughter of the governor. The agency also has Chris Kuzneski’s WWI series, The Hunters; rights sold in the U.K. (Headline, Feb. 2013). Another e-book original Trident will be pushing is Michael G. Manning’s series the Mageborn—three books were self-published and two more are planned—which the agency says has 200,000 copies in print; rights sold in Germany. And from Winter’s Bone author Daniel Woodrell is The Maid’s Version (Little, Brown, Sept. 2013), about a maid trying to unravel the mystery behind a 1929 Missouri bombing that took the lives of her sister and 41 others; rights sold in the U.K.
One of the hot titles Ed Victor will be selling is a new book by John Banville (writing under his pseudonym Benjamin Black) featuring Raymond Chandler’s famous PI, Philip Marlowe. (The deal for the book was struck, in part, with Chandler’s estate.) The novel, set in the 1940s in the fictional California town of Bay City, will be published by Holt in the States; rights sold in the U.K. From bestseller Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl) is the series WARP, which Hyperion is publishing stateside, and Puffin is publishing in the U.K. The title is an acronym—it stands for Witness Anonymous Relocation Program—and the agency says Colfer describes the series as “Oliver Twist meets The Matrix.” The agency will also be pushing Frederick Forsyth’s The Tracker (Putnam, 2013), a thriller about an ex-Marine going after the man atop America’s Kill List (an actual list the country uses to keep track of top al-Qaeda terrorists); rights sold in the U.K. Then there’s Nigella Lawson’s Nigellissima (Clarkson Potter, Sept.); rights sold in the U.K. The agency will also have the memoir from Pete Townsend, Who I Am, (HarperCollins, U.S./U.K.); rights sold in multiple countries including Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany and Japan.
A noted title WH has is the new adult book from Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane (HC, June 2013), a work the agency says is “about memory and magic” and follows a seven-year-old boy in the 1960s who gets “enmeshed in danger and darkness as old as the universe and as close as his family.” Then there is the latest from Charlie Huston, a new take on the classic espionage novel called Skinner (Little, Brown, Apr. 2013); WH calls it “The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by way of Cryptonomicon,” noting it is “part suspense novel, part extraordinary love story.” From C.A. Larsen is Polina’s Sky (Holt, winter 2014), about a farmer in the Danish resistance during WWII. Diane Chamberlain has Stealing Tomorrow (SMP, Aug. 2013), set in North Carolina during the 1960s and following a social worker that the agency says “risks everything to save Ivy Hart, a naïve teenage girl, from a life-altering operation.” On the YA side is Beautiful Creatures series coauthor Kami Garcia’s Unbreakable (Little, Brown, fall 2013), the first title in the Legion Series, which follows a teenage girl who discovers that she is a member of a powerful secret society on the evening she finds her mother dead.
The Wylie Agency
One of the titles Wylie will be touting in Germany is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah (Knopf, Apr. 2013), the first novel in seven years from the Nigerian-born (and MacArthur “genius” award–winning) author of Half of a Yellow Sun; rights sold in numerous countries including Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. From Elif Batuman is The Two Lives, the debut novel from lauded essayist/journalist and author of The Possessed. The agency described the novel as "eight self-standing but interconnected chapters" that "revisit the territory of eight articles Batuman actually reported in Italy, Israel, and Turkey... but interwoven with the kinds of human backstories that never make it into a nonfiction feature"; no rights yet sold, and delivery is set for September 2014. From Zimbabwe-born author NoViolet Bulawayo is We Need Names (L,B/Reagan Arthur, May 2013), a novel from the winner of the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing (known as the African Booker), about a young girl growing up in a poor Zimbabwe village who dreams of coming to America and, upon arriving in a Michigan suburb, is “unprepared for the strangeness that awaits her.” Another major title for the agency is Will Self’s Umbrella (Grove, Jan. 2013), which is already out in the U.K., where it was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker; it’s about a psychiatrist at a North London mental asylum in the late 19th century, and rights to it have sold in numerous countries. Then there is the magnum opus from Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård, Min Kamp (Archipelago), a six-volume autobiographical novel that the agency said has sold over 600,000 copies in Norway; rights sold in numerous countries including Poland, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.