Bob Weil at Norton has acquired world rights to Edward O. Wilson's first novel, The Anthill, as well as his next work of social biology, The Forces of Social Evolution, from John Taylor “Ike” Williams at Kneerim & Williams. The scientist's novel, to pub in 2010, deals with a young man whose life is shaped by poverty, a love of nature and a mission to save a unique Southern ecosystem. To follow in 2011, Wilson's nonfiction work will analyze how the hand of evolution molds much of human behavior. The Harvard biologist has written 20 books and won two Pulitzers; Norton will publish his newest book, The Superorganism, written with Bert Hoelldobler, in November.
A Nurse's Notes
After a flurry of interest from publishers following the publication of her essay “Perhaps Death Is Proud” in the New York Times, Theresa Brown signed with Bob Miller at HarperStudio for a chronicle of her first year of nursing—described by agent Lynn Johnston as a sort of One L of nursing. Miller preempted this one for six figures. HarperStudio has world rights; pub date is 2010.
Valerie Bertinelli, whose Losing It hit #1 on the Times list earlier this year, has made another world rights deal with Leslie Meredith at the Free Press for Finding It; Dan Strone at Trident made the sale. After losing 40 pounds as the world watched (described in Losing It), Bertinelli wonders if this new version of herself is for real, and the questions about courage, faith and belief that arise set her off on a search for answers to life's big questions. Bertinelli remains a spokesperson for Jenny Craig and is also working on a pilot for an untitled sitcom. Free Press plans a November 2009 pub date.
Goldman and Lupica Collaborate
William Goldman, screenwriter and author of The Princess Bride, and sportswriter and bestselling YA author Mike Lupica will join up to write a young adult novel for Philomel; publisher Michael Green acquired the pair's first collaboration from Esther Newberg at ICM. Still untitled, the book is about a boy who discovers a secret power, and the hero within himself, when family tensions push them to the surface. Philomel has North American rights, and pub date is 2010.
Da Capo executive editor Ben Schafer bought world rights to James Sullivan's Seven Dirty Words: The Life and Crimes of George Carlin via Paul Bresnick. Sullivan, author of Jeans and the forthcoming The Hardest Working Man (Gotham) will examine the life and work of the late comedian, satirist, author and counterculture icon in this first critical biography. Pub date is fall 2009.
On the heels of Broadway's recent acquisition of Anthony Bourke's and John Rendall's story of Christian the Lion, St. Martin's executive editor Michael Flamini has paid six figures for the tentatively titled Part of the Pride: My Life Among the Big Cats of Africa. In the book, animal behaviorist Kevin Richardson, who has garnered acclaim for his work with lions and hyenas at the Lion Park in South Africa, will describe how these animals have accepted him as one of their own, allowing him to hold their young, teach them to swim and sleep unguarded next to them. Publication is tentatively scheduled for fall 2009, to coincide with the release of a live-action feature film called The White Lion for which Richardson is the animal trainer. The book will be written with Australian novelist Tony Park; the sale was unagented.