Artisan Gets Baking

Judy Pray at Artisan took world rights to A New Way to Bake by the founder of the Cocolat chain, Alice Medrich. Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich handled the deal for Medrich, who’s referred to as “the first lady of chocolate.” Medrich is considered to be among the first to introduce Americans to chocolate truffles in the early 1970s after she began selling them in her Berkeley, Calif., bakery. DGLM explained that the new cookbook will focus on baking with “alternate flours,” noting that many bakers are trying to move away from the wheat-based standard.

Thomas Dunne Goes ‘Gangster’

Brendan Deneen at Thomas Dunne bought world rights to journalist Paul Lieberman’s Gangster Squad in a deal brokered by Jake Elwell at Harold Ober Associates. The book is expanded from a 10-part series Lieberman did in 2008 for the Los Angeles Times about a hush-hush LAPD unit that brought down mobster Mickey Cohen. The series was optioned by Warner Bros., and the book is set for September to coincide with the movie (also called Gangster Squad), which is slated for October. The film stars Sean Penn as Cohen, with Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling as the two central LAPD sergeants working the case, John O’Mara and Jerry Wooters. The book focuses on the two cops, who became obsessed with capturing Cohen. Deneen will be editing with TD associate publisher Pete Wolverton.

Abawi Gets Romantic for PYRG

Working without an agent, NBC News foreign correspondent Atia Abawi sold her first novel to Penguin Young Readers Group. The YA work, Star Crossed, was acquired by Philomel’s executive editor Jill Santopolo, who took world rights and plans to release the title in fall 2013. Abawi is based in Kabul and joined NBC in 2010, after working for CNN. The novel, a riff on Romeo & Juliet, is about a pair of teenagers from different rural villages in Afghanistan—and different (as well as warring) ethnic groups, one being Pashtun and the other Hazara—who fall in love. Penguin said the teens must “fight tradition, culture, and the Taliban if they want to stay together.”

Ozeki Again to Viking

Ruth Ozeki, who published her last two novels with Viking (1998’s My Year of Meats and 2003’s All Over Creation), has just sold a third work to the publisher. Carole DeSanti bought North American rights to The Time-Being of Nao Yasutani from Molly Friedrich at the Friedrich Agency. Both of Ozeki’s previous novels were New York Times Notable selections, and the author has also won a few literary awards, including the Kiriyama Prize (which celebrates books about the Pacific Rim and South Asia). In Time-Being an author, in 2011, discovers the diary of a young Japanese girl after it washes up on a Canadian shore in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Viking called the novel “a sweeping tale of bullies and suicide bombers, Buddhism and cyberspace, and the love between a father, his daughter, and an ancient Zen nun.”


Lucia Macro at William Morrow bought U.S., Canadian, and open market rights to Kristina Riggle’s novel The Whole Golden World. Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary closed the deal, and Morrow plans to release the book as a paperback original in summer 2013. The novel follows the parents of a teenage girl who has an affair with her teacher and then, following his arrest, supports him through his trial. Riggle was inspired to write the novel after reading a newspaper story about a Michigan teen who sat on her teacher’s side, in the court room, while he was being tried for his relationship with her.