Touchstone Grabs ‘Helpline’

Tara Parsons, editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone division, bought U.S. and Canadian rights to a debut novel by Katherine Collette. Titled The Helpline, the book was also bought by S&S U.K.’s Jo Dickinson. Parsons, noting that the project came in separately to S&S’s Canadian and U.K. offices, said, “We are delighted to have prevailed at auction across all three territories.” Parsons completed the deal with David Forrer at InkWell on behalf of Michael Heyward at Text Publishing in Australia. The Helpline, Parsons said, “is a dazzlingly funny, big-hearted novel in the vein of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and The Rosie Project, about an oddball heroine named Germaine Johnson who is great with numbers but not so great with people.” Helpline is set to be published in late summer 2019.

Bershtel Signs History on the End of Slavery

In a preempt, Sara Bershtel at Metropolitan Books has acquired world English rights to historian Susan Eva O’Donovan’s Becoming Citizens: The Political Lives of Slaves. O’Donovan is the winner of the James A. Rawley Prize for Becoming Free in the Cotton South (2010) and coeditor of two volumes from the acclaimed Freedmen and Southern Society Project. Her new history offers a “breakthrough view of the end of slavery in the United States,” according to Roz Foster, who represented the author on behalf of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Rather than wait for whites to save them, O’Donovan argues, slaves became “integral political actors—an insurgent citizenship—in the sectional crisis leading up to the Civil War.”

Artisan in Four-Book Deal with ‘Tablet’

Lia Ronnen, publisher of Artisan, has acquired four books from Tablet, a daily online magazine of Jewish news, ideas, and culture, from Jin Auh at the Wylie Agency. Tablet editor-in-chief Alana Newhouse is overseeing the project and will be the editor of 100 Most Jewish Foods. The Unorthodox Haggadah will be edited by Liel Leibovitz and Stephanie Butnick. Both books are planned for publication in April 2019. The Unorthodox Guide to Being Jewish, a photographic, modern-day encyclopedia, will be published in September 2019, and Smart Jews: Essays on Politics, Books, Culture, Sex & God will be published in September 2020. Neither of the latter two books has a Tablet editor assigned to it yet.

‘Lost Hills’ Finds a Home with Thomas & Mercer

In a world rights deal, Thomas & Mercer editorial director Grace Doyle acquired two titles by bestselling author Lee Goldberg. Among his credits, Goldberg is the coauthor, with Janet Evanovich, of the internationally bestselling Fox & O’Hare series, and his True Fiction novel, released by Thomas & Mercer on April 1, was an Amazon bestseller. Goldberg’s new deal includes Lost Hills, the first title in the new Eve Ronin series, and a second untitled book. Lost Hills, which is planned for release in fall 2019, introduces Eve Ronin, whom the publisher describes as “the youngest Sheriff’s Department homicide detective in Los Angeles–county history,” who, three months into her new job, “stumbles on a horrific crime scene.” Goldberg did not use an agent in the deal.

For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.