Glusman Closes Double
In one of two deals he closed last week, John Glusman at Norton took North American rights to Blood Libel in an American Town by Edward G. Berenson. The term “blood libel” refers to a superstitious accusation once leveled at Jews claiming they were taking the blood of Christians to use in religious rituals. There’s only one documented criminal case in U.S. history where blood libel was the charge, in 1928; Berenson, Glusman explained, uses the case to show “the different manifestations of anti-Semitism in the U.S. and Europe.” The book is set for a spring 2017 release and was sold by Sandra Dijkstra, who has an eponymous agency. Berenson, who is the director of NYU’s Institute of French Studies, is originally from Massena, N.Y., where the blood libel case was filed.
In the second deal, Glusman took U.S., Canadian, and open-market rights to Shawn Levy’s Dolce Vita Confidential. Richard Pine at Inkwell Management represented bestseller Levy (Rat Pack Confidential), and the title is set for a fall 2016 release. The book is about Rome’s transformation, after World War II, from, as Glusman put it, a “grim and gritty neorealist tableaux of postwar privation to a glamorous banquet of sex, fashion, creative energy, and shattered taboos.”

Gotham Invests in Canine, Jimmy Choo
Brazilian artist Rafael Mantesso sold a photo book featuring his bull terrier, Jimmy Choo, to Charlie Conrad at Gotham Books. Alan Nevins at Renaissance Literary & Talent represented Mantesso, selling world rights to the book at auction, for six figures. Nevins said five houses made offers on the title, which drew interest after Mantesso’s shots of his pooch went viral; late last month the Today show hosted the pair, and publications like the Daily Mail have written about the photos. The pictures feature Jimmy Choo in various positions against white backdrops, done up with amusing illustrations; the shots have the dog doing everything from lounging on the Iron Throne (of Game of Thrones fame) to posing as Venus in the famous Botticelli painting. The book will feature 120 shots of Jimmy Choo and, Conrad said, will explore “the lives of dog and owner to create a striking and hilarious illustrated chronicle of their relationship and adventures.” The book has also been sold, at auction, in Brazil.

Fanfic Romance Goes to S&S for Six Figures
Micki Nuding at Simon & Schuster bought North American rights, in a six-figure, three-book deal, at auction, to Sophie Jackson’s A Pound of Flesh. Jackson, who was represented by Louise Fury at the Bent Agency, is a schoolteacher in England, and the novel is adapted from her popular fan-fiction work of the same name; Fury said the online edition drew over four million reads. The book that S&S bought, Fury noted, “has been completely reworked” and is “masterly peppered... with literary analogies, setting it apart from other fan-fic.” In the novel, a headstrong female prison tutor finds out that her handsome pupil is “more than he appears to be.” The book was sold to Headline in the U.K., and has also been acquired by publishers in Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Turkey.

Curran ‘Competes’ at Harper
One-time Miss U.S.A. Pageant contestant Abby Curran sold a memoir called The Courage to Compete to Alexandra Cooper at Harper Teen; Cooper took world rights in a six-figure preempt. Joseph Veltre, at the Gersh Agency, represented Curran, who has cerebral palsy and is the first person with a disability to compete in the beauty pageant. The book, subtitled Living with Cerebral Palsy and Following My Dreams, describes Curran’s childhood in the Midwest (she is the daughter of a hog farmer) and how she dealt with being an outcast among her peers. Curran, who competed in Miss U.S.A. in 2008 as Miss Iowa, is the subject of a forthcoming HBO documentary called Miss You Can Do It; she is also the founder of a beauty pageant for girls with disabilities.

Craft, Olsen Play the ‘Flower’ for Alloy
Margo Lipschultz at Harlequin Teen took North American rights to Flower, a contemporary romance from Eilzabeth Craft and Shea Olsen. Craft is a TV writer and producer whose credits include shows ranging from The Shield to Dollhouse; Olsen is a debut author. Josh Bank and Annie Stone at Alloy Entertainment brokered the deal for the authors, and the book, the publisher said, is an “intense story of longing and forbidden desire” about a 17-year-old whose plan to swear off boys is dashed when she meets a mysterious singer named Tate Collins. Foreign rights, handled by Rights People, have been sold to houses in Brazil, Germany, Greece, and Norway. Flower is slated for a February 2016 release.

Jessica Regel at Foundry Literary + Media sold North American rights, at auction, to Bryn Greenwood’s debut, What Belongs to You. Laurie Chittenden at Thomas Dunne Books acquired the title, which Regel said is a “shocking love story” about two people and the relationship that takes them away from “the Midwestern meth-lab backdrop of their lives.”
In one of her first acquisitions for Delacorte Books for Young Readers, Kate Sullivan took North American rights to Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison’s A Totally Awkward Love Story. The book, set for summer 2016, was sold by Rights People’s Allison Hellegers, on behalf of Barry Cunningham and Elinor Bagenal at Chicken House (which published the book in the U.K., in June, under the title Lobsters). The YA novel is a dual narrative delivered by a teenage couple, and is written by authors who actually dated in high school.