Coffee House Press, the venerable Minneapolis literary press, announced yesterday that it has sold all available world rights to Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife, a debut novel by Sam Savage, to the Spanish publishing house, Seix Barral. According to Allan Kornblum, the sale for a six-figure sum is the largest rights sale in Coffee House's 23-year history. The deal was negotiated by Sandra Bruna, of the Sandra Bruna Agència Literària in Barcelona.
Japanese rights to Firmin had previously been sold by Coffee House to Shohaku-sha and South Korean rights to Wisdom House.
Firmin, an unconventional tale about an angst-ridden rat who learns to read in a Boston bookstore, was released in spring 2006 with a 10,000-copy initial print run, the largest first-print run in Coffee House history. The novel was named a Book Sense pick in 2006, an ALA Notable Book of the Year, and was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. Now in its third printing, there are currently 15,000 copies in print. Seix Barral, part of the International Planeta Publishing Group, has already sold Portuguese rights to Don Quixote, Italian rights to Einaudi and U.K. rights to Orion.
Savage's second novel, The Cry of the Sloth, is scheduled to be published by Coffee House in spring 2009.