S&S Lurches into ‘The Dark'
Scott Mendel at Mendel Media Group sold world English rights, in a two-book deal, to Rashad Harrison's Our Man in the Dark. Malaika Adero at Atria pre-empted the debut novel. Harrison, who has an M.F.A. from NYU's creative writing program, pulls in part from historical record for Dark, a noir about the men who orbited Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights organization for which King served as president and which played a significant role in the civil rights movement. The book is based loosely on an actual FBI informant forced to spy on King and his inner circle; Mendel pitched the titles as "L.A. Confidential meets Parting the Waters." Atria is planning a 2011 publication.

Penguin Press Re-Ups With Pulitzer Winner
Ann Godoff, president and publisher at Penguin Press, bought world rights to Liaquat Ahamed's Bank Wars. Penguin Press also published Ahamed's bestselling 2009 debut, Lords of Finance, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for history. Agent David Kuhn, at Kuhn Projects, brokered the deal. In Bank Wars Ahamed, a former investment manager who currently advises several hedge funds, explores the conflict between Andrew Jackson, a Southern populist, and Nicholas Biddle, a Northeasterner who oversaw the Second Bank of the United States.According to the agency, Ahamed looks at, among other things, Jackson's belief that the Second Bank, at the time the central bank in the country, "was a hotbed of corruption, fraud, and unethical political influence."

Looking Oh-so-French
Agent/lawyer Karen Gantz Zahler, of Karen Gantz Literary Management, sold Penny Drue Baird's The New French to Random House's Monacelli Press imprint. The interior design book, which is scheduled for 2011, incorporates, as Zahler put it, "clean-lined" looks with French furniture. Drue Baird, a well-known interior designer, has, for the last 17 years running, maintained a spot in Architectural Digest's annual roundup of the world's top 100 architects and designers. Elizabeth White at Monacelli took world rights in the deal, which marks the second time the press is working with Drue Baird; the publisher released her 2008 book, Bringing Paris Home.