The high advance book deals coming out of New York publishing show no signs of abating. After a heady Frankfurt Book Fair, which saw American editors throwing down seven figure advances for two debut novels and one debut nonfiction work, St. Martin's Press has acquired the debut by 36-year-old New York Times reporter Stephanie Clifford in another seven-figure book deal. Everybody Rise, which has already been sold for film--preempted by Fox 2000--is about a female striver in Manhattan, circa 2006.
The novel was optioned shortly after executive editor Charles Spicer closed a North American rights deal with literary agent Elisabeth Weed, who has an eponymous shingle. SMP said the book was spotted in Hollywood by Fox's senior literary consultant Drew Reed. Fox optioned the book from UTA's Howie Sanders, who handles the film rights, with Twilight and Devil Wears Prada producer Karen Rosenfelt attached to the project.
Spicer described the book, which is set for a 2016 publication, as "Edith Wharton meets The Bonfire of the Vanities for the 21st Century." The novel, SMP said, is set among the "new generation of heirs and strivers jockeying for social power" in Manhattan, and follows a "flawed" heroine who is thrown into the heart of this elite world: the Upper East Side. The book, SMP summarized, is "a carefully etched take on social position" featuring a protagonist "desperate to cling to her dreams."
Sally Richardson, president and publisher of SMP, added that Spicer's comparison to Edith Wharton is not an exaggeration, and that the novel is "both compulsively readable and illuminates the social milieu of its time."
Clifford, who attended Harvard as an undergrad and now lives in Brooklyn, has covered business, media and the courts for the Times.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Everybody Rise was acquired for film before it was bought by St. Martin's Press. It was acquired by SMP first.