Grossman to Viking

Time book critic Lev Grossman has sold a new novel, The Magicians, to Molly Stern at Viking, in an auction conducted by Tina Bennett at Janklow & Nesbit. In the book, a brilliant and bookish young man unexpectedly finds himself admitted to a secret, exclusive college of magic, where he learns about modern sorcery as well as friendship, love, sex, booze and boredom. But magic doesn’t bring him the happiness and adventure he’d expected—until he graduates and discovers his way into a magical land that is darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. Viking has North American rights and will publish in spring 2009.

Current Affairs

Chief Washington correspondent for the New York TimesDavid E. Sanger has made a deal with Harmony’s John Glusman for his first book, The Inheritance: The World America Now Faces.Michael Carlisle at Inkwell sold North American rights. Sanger, who’s covered the White House for the Times for the past seven years, will examine the Bush administration’s legacy, its successes and failures, and the complex challenges facing the next president.

David McBride at Oxford bought North American rights to David Kilcullen’s The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One via Michael Dwyer at U.K. publisher C. Hurst. Kilcullen, an Australian anthropologist and military adviser who is presently part of Gen. David Petraeus’s brain trust in Baghdad, will argue that neither counterterrorism nor traditional counterinsurgency is the appropriate framework for winning a post-9/11 war. Pub date is January 2009.

Rabbis and Witches

Roland Pease at Steerforth acquired world rights to the next novel by Benjamin Taylor, The Book of Getting Even, from agent Wendy Strothman. Set in the 1970s, the book follows the son of a New Orleans rabbi, a budding astronomer, who, on his way from youth to manhood, falls in love with a famous and beguiling family. The book already has a blurb from Philip Roth. Pub date is May 2008, at which time Steerforth will reissue Taylor’s previous novel, Tales Out of School, in paperback.

Jane Rosenman at Houghton Mifflin bought North American rights to Mary Sharratt’sA Light Far-Shining: A Novel of the Pendle Witches, via agent Wendy Sherman. Set in Pendle Forest, near the author’s Lancashire, England, home, the novel will reveal the dramatic life of Elizabeth Southerns, the most notorious of the Lancashire witches of 1612. Sharratt is the author of three previous novels; likely pub date for the new one is fall 2008.

A YA Prophecy

Nancy Conescu at Little, Brown for Young Readers has preempted world rights to The Prophecy of the Sisters, a YA gothic thriller trilogy by debut author Michelle Zink; Steven Malk at Writers House made the six-figure deal. The first book in the trilogy, which blends supernatural elements with romance, is scheduled for spring 2009, with books two and three to follow in spring 2010 and 2011.

Double Dijkstra

Agent Sandra Dijkstra has sold Kevin Maney’s The Swap to Roger Scholl at Doubleday, who took North American rights. Maney, contributing editor at Condé Nast Portfolio and longtime tech columnist for USA Today, will examine the delicate balance between quality and convenience when it comes to technology, to predict what will succeed and what will go the way of the VHS tape. Likely pub date is fall 2009.

Dijkstra also sold Harvard professor Lisa McGirr’s Prohibition and the Making of Modern America to Norton’s Steve Forman, who bought world rights. The book will explain how Prohibition helped to birth the politics and culture still familiar to Americans 80 years later. Pub date is 2012.