Einhorn Grabs ‘Dirt’ for Seven Figures
After a nine-house auction spanning three days, Flatiron Books’ Amy Einhorn won American Dirt, a novel by Jeanine Cummins. Einhorn paid seven figures for the book, which Doug Stewart at Sterling Lord Literistic sold. The novel follows a mother and her young son as they try to cross the border into the U.S., fleeing their Mexican city, which has been taken over by a drug cartel. The publisher described American Dirt as a rare work that is both “a page-turner and a literary triumph.” It’s also timely, according to the Macmillan imprint; the publisher noted that in 2017, someone died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border every 21 hours. American Dirt “tells the untold stories of why everyday people would risk everything, including their very lives, to have a chance at a new beginning.” The author, who was born in Spain and lives in Maryland, spent 10 years working in the publishing industry before becoming a full-time writer. She has published three paperback originals with NAL, including the bestselling 2004 memoir A Rip in Heaven and the 2010 novel The Outside Boy.
Instagram Poet Re-ups at Atria
In a six-figure acquisition, Sarah Cantin at Atria bought world rights to a new collection by Instagram poet Atticus titled The Dark Between Stars. The anonymous author, who writes under a nom de plume and dons a mask at publicity events and in photos, has more than 600,000 followers on Instagram. His debut collection, Love Her Wild, was released by Atria in 2017; that book has gone on to become a bestseller and, Cantin noted, rights sold in 13 territories. The Dark Between Stars, Cantin said, will feature “heartfelt, whimsical, and romantic poems.” Atticus was represented by Andrea Barzvi at Empire Literary.
Lake Union Re-signs Sullivan
Mark Sullivan has inked a world English rights agreement with Danielle Marshall at Amazon’s Lake Union imprint for his new novel, The Last Green Valley. Sullivan’s bestselling Beneath a Scarlet Sky was released by Lake Union last year and, according to the publisher, spent over 40 weeks on Amazon’s Most Sold and Most Read charts. Beneath a Scarlet Sky is also being adapted into a TV movie starring Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming). Sullivan’s new book, sold by Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, is about the true story of the Martel family, who fled Ukraine in the dying months of World War II and headed for Montana. The book, which is set for 2021, chronicles, the publisher said, an “extraordinary exodus” as the clan was “caught in a dangerous, fluid no-man’s-land between advancing and retreating armies.”
Jazzerciser Bounces to McGraw-Hill
The founder of Jazzercise, Judi Sheppard Missett, sold Building a Business with a Beat to Cheryl Ringer at McGraw-Hill Professional. Jill Marr at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, who represented Missett, said the book is “part memoir, part practical business guide” in which the author, who in 1969 created one of the first major exercise crazes, addresses topics like the difficulties of being a female entrepreneur and the challenges of building a business in what Marr called “a fad-based industry.” The book, subtitled Leadership Lessons from Jazzercise—An Empire Built on Passion, Purpose, and Heart, is set for a summer 2019 release, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the creation of the business. Missett is writing the book with Susan Carol McCarthy. Ringer took world English rights in the agreement.
Easton Takes ‘Protestors’ to Crown Kids
For Crown Books for Young Readers, Phoebe Yeh took world rights to Emily Easton’s picture book, Enough! 20 Protestors Who Changed America. The title, illustrated by Ziyue Chen, will, Crown said, give young readers an introduction to some of our nation’s most influential dissidents, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Jazz Jennings. Ryan Deitsch—a survivor of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting—will provide a foreword. The book is slated for fall. Easton represented herself in the deal; Chen was represented by Mela Bolinao at MB Artists.
Europa Buys Azar’s ‘Tree’
Michael Reynolds at Europa Editions acquired North American and U.K. rights to Shokoofeh Azar’s novel, The Enlightenment of the Greenage Tree. The book, which is set for a 2019 release, was shortlisted for the Stella Prize (which celebrates the work of Australian women writers) and is set in 1980s Iran. Its story of a family fleeing Tehran after it is taken over by the Revolutionary Guards, Europa said, “recasts the real horrors wrought on one family by war and national conflict in the frame of mythology and magical realism.” Natasha Solomon at the Rights Hive represented the Iranian-Australian author.
For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.