Norton's New Limerick

Former MacArthur “genius” winner and UC Boulder professor Patricia Limerick has sold her new work, Exploring the Interior, to Norton's Ed Barber. Barber acquired North American rights from Scott Moyers at the Wylie Agency. Limerick, who's best known for her 1987 book, The Legacy of Conquest (about the settling of the American west), here chronicles the U.S. government's “vexed” management of public land, Moyers said. She tracks the establishment of the General Land Office in 1812 up to the inner workings of today's Department of the Interior. About more than just real estate, according to Moyers, the book is “an essential case study in the changing attitudes of the American people toward both nature and authority.”

SMP Gets 'Loaded'

Peter McGuigan at Foundry sold North American rights to a humor book called Loaded! by Willie Geist and Boyd McDonnell. Phil Revzin at St. Martin's Press acquired the title, in which Geist (who is cohost of MSNBC's Morning Joe) and his writing partner, parody get-rich-quick books. Geist and McDonnell invent a pair of so-called financial wizards—it's played as if the authors meet the pair by happenstance—named Bill Richter and Bill Lachey, aka “The Dollar Bills,” who offer (bad) advice on how to become instant millionaires.

Grass and Gran to HMH

Amid the buzz about the forthcoming new translation of The Tin Drum—it bows in October to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the canonical German novel—Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has nabbed U.S. and Canadian rights to Günter Grass's From Germany to Germany and Back Again. Drenka Willen, Grass's longtime editor at HMH, acquired the book from the author's German publisher, Steidl Verlag. Grass, not a regular diary-keeper, was inspired to journal after the fall of the Berlin Wall; in the text, which spans January 1990 to January 1991, he chronicles travels between Easr and West Germany and conversations he had with everyone from locals to politicians about their country's new, physical unification. HMH is planning a fall 2011 publication; no translator has been selected.

HMH has also signed a two-book deal with Sara Gran (Dope), brokered by Dan Conaway at Writers House. Editor-in-chief Andrea Schulz acquired North American rights to two literary thrillers, the first in a planned series; book one is called Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead and book two, Book of Dreams. Conaway said that, in-house, HMH is comparing the novels to works by Kate Atkinson (One Good Turn) and Gillian Flynn (Dark Places). And Claire Dewitt, we hear, is being shopped in Hollywood; Sylvie Rabineau at Rabineau, Wachter, Sanford & Harris is handling film rights.


Marc Resnick at SMP acquired U.S. rights to three forthcoming novels by British thriller writer Peter James. James is published by Macmillan UK, and his current novel, Dead Tomorrow, is part of a series featuring detective Roy Grace. When SMP pubs that book in 2010, James will have his American debut. Carole Blake brokered the deal for the three books.

Jessica Regel at the Jean V. Naggar agency sold North American rights to K. Ryer Breese's Soft Power to Joan Schoenfelder at Thomas Dunne. The novel follows a boy who can see the future and gets together with a girl who can see the past.

Katie McHugh at Da Capo took world rights to Dirty Girls Come Clean by Alexandra Spunt and Siobhan O'Connor; Tina Wexler at ICM brokered the deal. The book is a guide to what chemicals lurk in your makeup—the subtitle is How to End Your Addiction to Chemical Cosmetics (and Still Look Hot)..