Norton Taps 'Monuments' Crew
After a two-day auction, Peter McGuigan at Foundry Literary + Media sold North American rights to Saving Italy: The Monuments Men, the Vatican, Nazis, and War. Tom Mayer at Norton acquired the book by Robert Edsel, who wrote 2009's The Monuments Men (Center Street), and it follows the story of two Americans who, during WWII, found and saved a trove of Italian art treasures stolen by the Nazis. Foundry called the book "the greatest unknown story" of the war, adding that subplots involve the Vatican and the CIA. Norton is planning a summer 2013 publication, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Milan. Michelle Weiner at CAA is handling the film rights.
Thomas Dunne Gets ‘Grimm'
Brendan Deneen at Thomas Dunne Books acquired world rights to Grimm City, which he developed with British television producer Gareth Jones. Jones, who initially submitted a collection of never-before-translated Grimm fairy tales to Deneen, wound up working with the editor on an outline for a novel that strung the stories together into a supernatural urban fantasy. Genre writer KW Jeter, who is represented by agent Peter Rubie at Fineprint, was tapped to pen the first book in the planned series, which Deneen called "Sin City by way of Neil Gaiman." The story is set in a modern-day New York–style city that sits directly above the gates of hell and is home to a number of dark heroes, as well as more than a few villains—including Death and the Devil. Thomas Dunne retained film rights for its new Macmillan Films division; Sylvie Rabineau is shopping dramatic rights on behalf of Macmillan Films.
Machinist Closes Major Three-Book Debut Deal
Alexandra Machinist at the Linda Chester Literary Agency closed a nearly seven-figure three-book world rights deal for author Alex Adams. Emily Bestler at Atria bought Adams's debut, White Horse, along with its planned sequel and another title, at auction. Horse, which Machinist called a "postapocalyptic quest novel," follows a woman searching for her lost lover while protecting her unborn child. Justin Manask at Office for Literary Adaptation is shopping the film rights.
Scholastic Throws Down For Cameron Debut
Lisa Sandell at Scholastic bought Sharon Cameron's debut YA novel, Turning Clockwise, along with its untitled sequel, in a six-figure pre-empt brokered by the Andrea Brown Agency's Kelly Sonnack. The buzzed-about Frankfurt book, which Sonnack said is a steampunk adventure, was bought by Italian publisher Mondadori (after a heated auction) and was also pre-empted in both France and Germany. In the novel, which Scholastic has scheduled for fall 2012, a girl arrives at the Victorian estate of her supposedly mad uncle to have him committed, only to discover his insanity is not what it seems.
Ecco Goes to 'Dinner' With Rosenstrach
Lee Boudreaux at Ecco pre-empted North American rights to Jenny Rosenstrach's Dinner: A Love Story, which is based on the former Cookie magazine editor's popular eponymous blog. In the book, which agent Elyse Cheney sold, Rosenstrach explores the family dinner through a narrative that weaves together anecdotes and recipes. The book, which was optioned by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment, is intended, HarperCollins said, to help readers convert what some think of as an end-of-day chore "into a joyous family habit."
MTV Gets Heavy with Dio
In her first deal at Folio Literary, Shawna Morey sold North American rights at auction to heavy metal front man Ronnie James Dio's autobiography, Rainbow in the Dark. Jacob Hovey at MTV Books acquired the title, which traces the singer's nearly five-decade career, leading bands like Black Sabbath, Elf, and Rainbow. Dio died, after a long battle with cancer, on May 16, and the deal was struck with Dio's label, Niji Entertainment Group, which he and his wife/manager Wendy started; MTV Books is planning a spring 2012 publication.