Deal of the Week: Einhorn Invests in Frankel’s ‘One’
In a high-six-figure world rights acquisition for two books, Amy Einhorn at Flatiron Books bought Laurie Frankel’s novel One Two Three. Frankel, author of the This Is How It Always Was(which was a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub pick), follows three 16-year-olds dealing with upheaval in their small town. Twenty years after their town was destroyed by a local chemical plant, the girls, Flatiron said, “must pick up the pieces of their family and community before the plant reopens.” The publisher noted that the book, which is slated for winter 2021, has “shades of Anne Tyler’s Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant.” Molly Friedrich at the Friedrich Agency represented Frankel.
FROM THE U.S.
S&S Ed Sells Novel to HC
Simon & Schuster senior editor Christine Pride struck a six-figure North American rights agreement with William Morrow to pen two novels, cowritten with author Jo Piazza (How to Be Married). The first book, We Are Not Like Them, is, Morrow said, “in the vein of Jodi Picoult” and follows the enduring friendship between two women—a successful African-American TV journalist and a working-class white woman married to a cop. Alexanda Machinist at ICM Partners represented the authors.
Knopf Lassos Mann’s ‘West’
Jonathan Segal at Knopf took world rights (excluding Europe and New Zealand) to Charles C. Mann’s The True West in a high-six-figure deal. The book, subtitled A New View of the Lands Beyond the Mississippi, offers, Knopf said, “a compelling and deeply engaging new understanding of the North American West that is widely accepted by specialists but little-known to the public.” Anthony Arnove at the Roam Agency represented Mann (1491).
Colfer's ‘Highfire’ to HC
The man behind the bestselling children’s series Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer, sold a new adult novel called Highfire to HarperPerennial. Jonathan Burnham and Emily Taylor nabbed North American rights to the book, which the publisher said follows “a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who lives an isolated life in the bayous of Louisiana.” The book, slated for winter 2020, was sold by Sophie Hicks, who has an eponymous shingle. German rights have also sold, at auction, to Heyne Verlag.
Russell Sells New Collection to Knopf
Knopf’s Jordan Pavlin took U.S. rights, in a two-book deal, to Karen Russell’s short story collection Orange World. (The book’s title story ran in the New Yorker‘s 2018 summer fiction issue.) Russell, a Pulitzer Prize finalist (for 2011's Swamplandia!), was represented by Denise Shannon at the Denise Shannon Literary Agency. The second book in the deal, a short novel called Sleep Donation, originally published by the Atavist, is set in a near-future America beset by a lethal insomnia epidemic.
Strout Returns with New ‘Olive’
Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout sold world rights to Olive, Againto Susan Kamil at Random House. The novel, slated for Sept. 2019, returns to the heroine of Strout’s bestselling Pulitzer winner, Olive Kitteridge, following the next decade of her life. RH said the book will take readers into “Olive’s second marriage, an evolving relationship with her son, and encounters with a cast of memorable characters in the seaside town of Crosby, Maine.” Strout was represented by Molly Friedrich, who has an eponymous shingle.
5 under 35 Honoree Takes ‘Stars’ to Riverhead
A 2018 National Book Award Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, Hannah Lillith Assadi (Sonora), closed a North American rights agreement with Riverhead’s Cal Morgan for her sophomore novel, The Stars Are Not Yet Bells. PJ Mark at Janklow & Nesbit represented Assadi; he described Stars as a “haunting, decades-spanning story of a woman in cognitive decline as she confronts a maze of memory, longing, and otherworldly lights in the evening sky amid the mysterious collapse of her husband’s business empire.” Morgan bought the title in an exclusive submission.
Irish Bestseller Jumps Pond to Dial
Professor at University College Dublin, Emilie Pine, sold her bestselling Irish essay collection, Notes to Self, to Dial Press. Whitney Frick took North American rights at auction to the volume of connected essays that, per the publisher, “illuminate the experiences women are expected to keep hidden,” from addiction to infertility. Amelia Atlas at ICM Partners represented Pine. The book, published over the summer in Ireland, has also sold in multiple foreign deals.
Behind the Deal
For Heddi Goodrich, who wrote her debut novel in Italian before translating (and selling) it in English, the just-wrapped Frankfurt Book Fair wasn’t about wracking up foreign sales.... It was about meeting people. The American-born, Italian-bred, and now New Zealand-based author has, as her U.S. publisher (HarperOne’s currently unnamed international fiction imprint) pointed out, an unusual global pedigree. So it was decided to celebrate this fact in Germany, at a dinner hosted by her Italian publisher, Giunti. In attendance was a group from HarperOne, which will be releasing the book, Lost in the Spanish Quarter, in fall 2019. The HC crew is pictured here (l. to r.) at Frankfurt: Judith Curr, publisher of HarperOne group; Brian Murray, CEO of HarperCollins; and Goodrich.
- Indie bestseller Zanib Mian, who found success self-publishing her book The Muslims, inked a three-book deal with Hachette Children’s UK. [The Bookseller]
- Italian duo Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, of Timbuktu Labs, launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for I Am a Rebel Girl: A Journal to Start Revolutions. The book is a follow-up to their bestselling Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, volumes one and two. [PW]
- A thriller by a Norwegian screenwriter John Kåre Raake, The Ice, has sold to Goldmann in Germany after an eight-way auction. [PW]
- The true crime book Hitman: The Art of Evil by journalist Andrea Galli, sold at auction to Rizzoli in Italy, in a deal handled by originating agent Vicki Satlow. [PW]
- Real Life by Adeline Dieudonne, published in France by Editions de l'Iconoclaste, has sold to six foreign publishers, including Dtv in Germany and Atlas Contact in the Netherlands. [PW]
- M. The Son of the XX Century by Antonio Scurati, an 800-page historical fiction novel published in Italy in October by Bompiani, just sold to Fourth Estate in the U.K, HarperCollins in the U.S. and Intinseca in Brazil. [PW]
PAGE TO SCREEN
- After almost 50 years of rebuffing offers to adapt her seminal middle grade novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Judy Blume sold the film rights to James L. Brooks (who helms Gracie Films) and Kelly Fremon Craig. [Deadline].
- Carmen Maria Machado’s short story collection Her Body and Other Parties (Serpent’s Tail, 2017) has been optioned for series development at FX. [Deadline]
- Australian producer Bruna Papandrea optioned the debut novel by Australian writer Holly Ringland, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, for series adaptation. [Deadline]
For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.
Correction: A quote initially attributed to Elizabeth Strout describing her new book Olive, Again has been updated, as it should have been attributed to her publisher, Random House.