British Editor Lands at Putnam
Richard Roper, a nonfiction editor at U.K.-based publisher Headline, sold his debut novel, How Not to Die Alone, to Tara Singh Carlson at G.P. Putnam’s Sons in a North American rights agreement. The novel has already sold in a number of international deals, including to Orion in England, where it will be released under the title Something to Live For. Reminiscent of the international bestseller Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, the novel, Putnam said, follows a man who unexpectedly forms a bond with a coworker based in part on a lie—that he has a family he doesn’t actually have. Putnam elaborated that the novel “explores the particular sadness of loneliness in a big city, and one man’s attempts to let go of the past and start his life afresh.”
Flatiron Becomes “Friends” with Kahaney
For Flatiron Books, Sarah Barley took North American rights at auction to Amelia Kahaney’s psychological thriller Friends like These. The YA novel, set in the California desert, follows three best friends who, the publisher explained, “grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.” With each girl “desperately wishing for some way out,” they all escape, “but not in the way they had expected.” The book, which is set for a spring 2020 release, was sold by Joelle Hobeika and Sara Shandler at Alloy Entertainment on behalf of Kahaney’s literary agent, Faye Bender at the Book Group.
Economists Case and Deaton Sell to PUP for Six Figures
In a six-figure acquisition, Joe Jackson at Princeton University Press bought world rights to Anne Case and Angus Deaton’s Deaths of Despair and the Future of American Capitalism. Case and Deaton both teach economics at Princeton (Deaton is also a Nobel laureate); the book, PUP said, will expand upon the pair’s research into “rising morbidity and mortality rates among middle-aged Americans.” This work, the publisher explained, “tells the story not only of death but of lives getting worse.” The authors did not use an agent in the deal. Their book is set for early 2020.
Graphic Novel on Slave Revolts to 37Ink
Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts, by Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martinez, was acquired by Dawn Davis at auction. Davis took North American rights to the graphic novel for her 37Ink imprint from Anjali Singh at Ayesha Pande Literary. Hall is a scholar and activist who has taught history at schools including UC Berkeley, and Martinez is a comic artist whose work, the publisher said, “depicts narratives of struggle and resilience in the lives of people of color.” According to 37Ink, Wake reveals previously unearthed stories about women in New York City who led slave revolts and, “where the historical record goes silent, reconstructs the likely pasts of these women.”
Avery Explores Kerr’s Deathbed Dreams
In a world rights acquisition, Caroline Sutton at Avery bought Christopher Kerr’s Dreams of the Dying: Hope and Meaning Beyond Cure. Kerr, who was represented by Bonnie Solow at Solow Literary Enterprises, is a doctor and, for the book, drew on interviews he conducted with more than 1,000 patients at the twilights of their lives. The book, Avery said, “reveals the extraordinarily vivid and healing dreams they experience, often giving them and their families comfort in the present... and even a sense of illumination that the dying process is something more than just an ending.”
Norton Makes the Case for MG Bio of Roundtree
For Norton Young Readers, Simon Boughton took North American rights to Tonya Bolden’s currently untitled biography of lawyer Dovey Johnson Roundtree. The book, which is for readers ages 11–14, is about the pioneering attorney who defended a black man accused of murdering a white women in a high-profile trial in 1965. Roundtree, who died earlier this year at the age of 104, was also, Boughton noted, “instrumental in winning a landmark 1955 Supreme Court decision desegregating interstate transportation.” Bolden was represented by Jennifer Lyons, who has an eponymous shingle.
Vallance Gets “Prognosis” at Little A
Laura Van der Veer at Amazon’s Little A imprint nabbed world rights to Sarah Vallance’s memoir, Prognosis. The book, the publisher said, is about how Vallance, a PhD candidate, “rebuilds her life after a traumatic brain injury.” Sarah Levitt at Aevitas Creative Management represented the author.
O’Brien Stays at Kensington
Kevin O’Brien signed a three-book deal with Kensington, his longtime publisher. John Scognamiglio, Kensington’s editor-in-chief, bought U.S., Canadian, and open market rights in the deal from Christina Hogrebe at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. The Betrayed Wife will be the first book released in what the publisher described as a trio of new domestic suspense thrillers.
For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.