Wendy Wolf at Viking beat out four other houses for an authorized biography of late comedian Chris Farley; agent Peter McGuigan sold North American rights for substantial six figures. The book, described as an oral history, was written by Farley’s brother Thomas and Tanner Colby, and Viking will publish next spring.

The project has an unusual provenance; it was originally commissioned by Shawn Coyne at Rugged Land and due to be published this fall (the tenth anniversary of Farley's death), but was left without a publisher when Rugged Land went out of business. McGuigan stepped in to shop the finished manuscript.

McGuigan, a former agent at Sanford Greenburger, opened his own shop, Foundry Literary + Media, a few months ago. Co-writer Colby is the collaborator on an earlier oral history of John Belushi, published by Rugged Land in 2005.

Farley, best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live in the early '90s, also starred in several hit comedies, including Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. He died of a drug overdose in December 1997 at age 33.