Plumbers, Duck Hunters & More
Agent Lynn Johnston sold world rights to journalist Jeff Ryan's Super Mario: An Unofficial Biography to Portfolio's Courtney Young. The book is a history of Nintendo in America, with the title referencing one of the gaming company's first major successes in the States—the popular video game-turned-franchise, Super Mario Bros., which was first released in 1985. Johnston, who noted that Nintendo was ranked #1 last year by Business Week in a list of top global companies, said the book generated intense interest with "editors reading it over lunch/overnight and calling in straight away." Young pre-empted, and Portfolio is planning a fall 2011 release.
Pinstriped Boys of Summer
David Hirshey and Matt Weiland at Ecco bought world rights to a collection of original essays about one of the country's most storied sports franchises, the New York Yankees. Agent Esther Newberg at ICM brokered the deal, and Rob Fleder, the editor of Sports Illustrated's publishing program who's worked on such books as SI 50: The Football Book, will be editing the currently untitled book. Contributors will include Pete Dexter, Gay Talese, and Richard Ford, and Hirshey said the pieces will be "surprising, authoritative, quirky, passionate, wise, and funny." Ecco is planning to release the book in spring 2011 to coincide with the start of the baseball season.
Grohl and Guy Examined
Da Capo executive editor Ben Schafer has just closed on two music titles, one a biography and the other an autobiography. Schafer bought U.S. rights to This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl from agent Anna Stein at Aitken Alexander Associates. The book, by Paul Brannigan (who's written extensively about the Pacific Northwest grunge scene), will be the first in-depth look at the former Nirvana frontman who's gone on to musical success in myriad bands including Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. Working from exclusive interviews conducted over a 10-year period, Brannigan, who had direct access to Grohl, writes about, among other things, the musician's impressions of Kurt Cobain and the fights that nearly broke up Nirvana. The book is scheduled for fall 2011.
The Autobiography of Buddy Guy, to which David Vigliano at Vigliano Associates sold world rights, is also slated for fall 2011, and is the bluesman's take on his own storied life. Guy, who's writing with David Ritz, is credited as one of the main influences on some of the best-known rock guitarists of all time, including Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Jimi Hendrix. A fixture on the Chicago blues scene in the 1950s, Guy played with everyone from Muddy Waters to Howlin' Wolf, and by the '70s was opening for acts like the Rolling Stones. The book, according to Guy, will offer a window into the personalities of the boldface names he's known, showing readers these celebrities "for who they really were—crazy wild geniuses, sometimes sweet as pie, sometimes mean as rattlesnakes."
John Glusman at Harmony took North American rights to Don Peck's Brace Yourself: The Long Tail of the Recession. Agent Raphael Sagalyn represented Peck, who's a deputy managing editor at the Atlantic. The book, slated for 2011, examines the socioeconomic consequences of the recession.
Mark Doten at Soho Press bought world rights to Jan Merete Weiss's These Dark Things. The author brokered the deal himself for this debut crime novel set in Naples. Soho is planning a summer 2012 publication.