Safina Closes Double at Macmillan

In a world-rights acquisition, Carl Safina sold The Nurture in Nature to Jack Macrae at Henry Holt. The deal for the book, which is subtitled How Animals Learn to Be Animals, was brokered by Jennifer Weltz at the Jean V. Naggar Agency. She said the title explores notions about “nature vs. nurture” and how this theory extends to animals other than humans. The book, she went on, details how animals “must learn their cultures, how to be who they are, social norms, and etiquette,” and delves “deep into the real lives of other animals.”

In a separate deal, Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook Press bought a young reader’s adaptation of Safina’s 2015 bestseller, Beyond Words. Weltz also handled this deal, for world rights, and noted that the book will be divided into two editions, to be published in winter 2019 and fall 2019. The title will, Weltz explained, offer “intimate, up-to-date journeys deep into the real lives of actual free-living elephants, orca whales, and wolves.”

Blackstone Takes Trio of McKinty’s Duffy Books

Greg Boguslawski at Blackstone Publishing took North American rights to the final three books in Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series. The deal, for books seven, eight, and nine in the series about the titular Belfast detective, was brokered by Shane Salerno at the Story Factory. According to Salerno, book seven, called The Detective up Late, is set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles; it sees the Catholic Duffy “return to solve a missing-persons case which uncovers a conspiracy at the highest levels and thrusts himself and fellow detectives Lawson and McCrabban into their most dangerous assignment yet.” Salerno said the series, to date, has sold more than 250,000 copies. The Detective Up Late is slated for 2018, Hang On St. Christopher (book eight) for 2019, and The Ghosts of Saturday Night (book nine) for 2020.

Putnam Finds Hillman Broken Hearted

In her first acquisition at Putnam, Helen Richard preempted North American rights to Robert Hillman’s The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted. Hillman (The Boy in the Green Suit) is Australian and the book is set to be published in his home country, by Text, in April. (Putnam plans to release the title in the U.S. in spring 2019.) The deal was brokered on behalf of Michael Heyward at Text by David Forrer at InkWell Management. Putnam said the novel, set in 1960s Australia, is about “love and forgiveness.” It follows a small-town farmer who “finds his life turned upside down by the arrival of a passionate Hungarian librarian, a Holocaust survivor determined to leave Europe and her own past behind as she opens the first bookshop his town has ever seen.”

Laskar Takes Debut to Counterpoint

Columbia M.F.A. graduate and former crime reporter Devi S. Laskar sold North American rights to her debut novel, When the Dolls Leave the Dollhouse, to Jennifer Alton at Counterpoint. Reiko Davis at DeFiore and Company Literary Management, who represented Laskar, said the book was pitched as being “in the vein of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen and Sandra Cisneros’s House on Mango Street.” It follows an Indian-American woman who moves her family back to the Deep South, where she grew up. Davis explained that the book is told in “brief chapters that highlight the structure of Aristotle’s Incline” and focuses on a nameless narrator who “struggles to make sense of her past, decipher her present, and plan for the future while she lies bleeding on her driveway one morning after the police shoot her.” The book is set for winter 2019.


Heather Alexander at Audible Originals took world English rights to a novella prequel to the bestselling Gallagher Girls series, by Ally Carter. The title will follow three characters from the books during their first week of seventh grade at their all-girls spy school; it’s set to debut as an audio original and was sold by Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency.

Avon’s Lucia Macro bought world English rights to books four, five, and six in Lisa Berne’s Penhallow Dynasty series. Cheryl Pientka at Jill Grinberg Literary Management, who brokered the deal, said the Regency-era series is about “the romantic adventures of the strong-minded Penhallows.”

Dale E. Bredesen (The End of Alzheimer’s) closed a two-book deal with Caroline Sutton at Avery. The first book, Avery said, will be “a hands-on guide to complete brain health, and an exposé of the cognitive-decline epidemic hitting a surprisingly young demographic as a result of exposure to toxins such as mold, Lyme disease, and other infections.” John Mass and Celeste Fine at Sterling Lord handled the U.S. rights agreement.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled the last name of assistant editor Jennifer Alton.