Debut Author Brings Novel of Pioneers to Kensington

Kensington Publishing’s John Scognamiglio took world rights to Mrs. Jacob Klein’s Story, a historical debut novel by V.A. Shannon, in a deal brokered by Eric Myers of Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret. According to Myers, the novel is set in the days of American pioneering, telling “the tale of a survivor of the ill-fated Donner Party as she looks back on her ordeal in the Sierras... 10 years later.” The book is slated to be published in fall 2018.

Blackstone Picks Up Jewel’s Father’s Memoir

Blackstone’s Vikki Warner secured North American rights in all formats to Son of a Midnight Land, a memoir by Atz Kilcher, father of the singer Jewel, in a deal negotiated by Sandra Bishop of Transatlantic Agency. According to the publisher, the book will focus on the author’s “tough upbringing in the Alaskan frontier”: Kilcher, who appears on the Discovery series Alaska: The Last Frontier, “reflects on the survival skills and habits he took on because of this upbringing—some that served him well and others from which he later had to learn to free himself in order to become a better man and a good father to his own children.” The publisher plans to bring out the book sometime in 2018.

Scholastic Buys a Middle Grade ADHD Novel

Cheryl Klein of Scholastic acquired North American rights to Focused, the second middle-grade novel by Alyson Gerber, in a two-book deal arranged by Kate McKean of Howard Morhaim Literary. In the novel, which centers on a girl named Clea, “the world of competitive chess meets Fish in a Tree”—a middle grade novel by Lynda Mullaly Hunt about a mathematically gifted girl struggling with dyslexia—“as Clea comes to terms with her ADHD diagnosis and discovers the different ways she can succeed,” said McKean. Gerber will publish her debut novel Braced with Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine Books imprint this spring. Scholastic plans to publish Focused sometime in 2018, with David Levithan editing.

Debut Novel by Palestinian-American Author to Harper

In a six-figure preempt, Erin Wicks at Harper took world rights to The Place an Arrow Shoots From, a debut novel by Palestinian-American author Etaf Rum, in a deal brokered by Julia Kardon of Mary Evans. According to Wicks, the book “tells the story of three generations of Palestinian-American women living in Brooklyn as they struggle to reconcile their individual desires with the demands of their Arab Muslim culture, and... find their identities irreparably altered in the wake of devastating intimate violence in their community.” Rum, who is 27, is the eldest of nine children who grew up “in the same insular world in which she sets her novel,” Wicks added. The author also has a book-focused Instagram account, @booksandbeans, which has 160,000 followers. Harper plans to publish the novel in summer 2018.

Two Dollar Radio Nabs Collection by Hot Newcomer

Eric Obenauf of Two Dollar Radio secured U.S. and Canadian rights to White Dialogues, a collection of short stories by Bennett Sims, in a deal negotiated by Jin Auh of the Wylie Agency. The stories in the collection have previously appeared in magazines including A Public Space, Tin House, and Zoetrope. In the book, said Obenauf, Sims “moves from slow-burn psychological horror to playful comedy, bringing us into the minds of people who are haunted by their environments, obsessions, and doubts.” Two Dollar Radio previously published Sims’s debut novel, A Questionable Shape, which won the Bard Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Believer Book Award. White Dialogues is set to be published in fall 2017.

Amazon Takes the Second Book in a Malayan Series

AmazonCrossing’s Elizabeth DeNoma took world English rights to When the Future Comes Too Soon, the second book in Malaysian-Chinese author Selina Siak Chin Yoke’s Malayan series, in a deal arranged by Tom Colchie of the Colchie Agency. When the Future Comes Too Soon is set during the Japanese occupation of Malaya in the early 1940s and “shows us a world made unrecognizable to its inhabitants through war and betrayal,” said the publisher. AmazonCrossing published the first book in the series, The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds, which DeNoma described as “an immersive family saga that made an emotional connection with readers.” When the Future Comes Too Soon is set to be published in summer 2017.