DEAL OF THE WEEK
Clarkson Potter Lands Chang’s Memoir
In a world English rights agreement, restaurateur David Chang sold his memoir, in a two-book deal, to Clarkson Potter. The currently untitled work from the founder of the Momofuku chainlet of restaurants (and the shuttered Lucky Peach magazine) tells, CP said, the “story of how the son of conservative Korean immigrants confronted his insecurities and depression, and discovered his talents and found fellowship in the kitchen.” The second book in the deal is a cookbook. The memoir, which Inkwell Management’s Kim Witherspoon sold to Aaron Wehner at CP, is slated for April 2020. Francis Lam will edit the memoir.
Photo: Andrew Bezek
FROM THE U.S.
MCD Shells Out for Hulls’s ‘Ghosts’
Feeding Ghosts, the debut graphic memoir by Tessa Hulls, was bought for high six figures at auction by Daphne Durham at FSG’s MCD imprint. Anjali Singh at Ayesha Pande Literary represented the author, calling Feeding Ghosts a melding of “Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Nora Krug’s Belonging, and Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior.” The memoir, Singh said, follows the lives of three women—the author, her mother, and her Chinese grandmother—exploring “the legacies of immigration, inherited trauma, and mental illness.” Hulls is a self-described “artist/writer/adventurer”; she recently had a solo show at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History and has written essays for publications including the Washington Post. She has also, Singh said, toured the country lecturing on “women and cycling.”
Morrow Lures Coulter
For seven figures, William Morrow’s David Highfill inked Catherine Coulter to a two-book deal. The bestselling author, who’s written 84 novels to date, moves houses with this agreement, leaving her most recent publisher, Gallery Books. Under her contract with Morrow, she will write two new thrillers in her FBI series featuring the agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock. Coulter was represented by Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group. The books are slated, respectively, for 2021 and 2022.
Putnam Buys Rival Publisher’s Novel
Sean Desmond, the publisher of Hachette’s Twelve imprint, sold world rights to a novel titled Sophomores. Sally Kim and Gabriella Mongelli at Putnam preempted the book. In the novel, set in 1980s Dallas, the 25-year industry veteran follows an Irish Catholic family as, Putnam explained, they “navigate the ripple effects of the father’s alcoholism and MS diagnosis, the mother’s crisis of faith as she serves in a jury for a trial of a local minister, and the son’s attempts to stand out in his unconventional high school English class.” David Black, who has an eponymous shingle, represented Desmond.
Passarella’s ‘Virgin’ Arrives at Thomas Nelson
Webster Younce at Thomas Nelson won an essay collection by Elizabeth Passarella titled The Virgin Surprise for six figures. Younce brokered the two-book deal, after an auction, with Kristin van Ogtrop at InkWell Management. Passarella is a contributing editor at Southern Living magazine, and the book, subtitled A Southern Evangelical Finds Her Place in New York, charts her journey to maintain aspects of her Southern upbringing while settling in the Big Apple. Van Ogtrop said the author writes with “humor and heart” about her path from “a conservative Memphis childhood to a liberal awakening as an adult living on the Upper West Side, where she juggles parenthood and marriage and work, all while keeping her Christian faith intact.” Virgin is set for January 2021.
Raniere Gets Tapped by Hay House
Hay House’s Allison Janice paid six figures for Margaret Lynch Raniere’s Unblocked. The self-help book is a follow-up to the author’s 2013 title, Tapping into Wealth (published by Perigee). Linda Konner at the Linda Konner Literary Agency represented Raniere, who is cowriting Unblocked with her husband, psychologist David Raniere. The book, Konner said, shows readers how to “discover their most empowered and authentic selves” by using the same method Raniere explored in Tapping into Wealth, the “emotional freedom technique.” The technique is intended to allow people to relieve themselves of anxiety and pain by freeing up their chakras.
Connor’s Latest to Katherine Tegen
Leslie Connor, finalist for the 2018 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature, sold a middle grade novel titled Anybody Here Seen Frenchie? Katherine Tegen took North American rights to the novel for her eponymous imprint at HarperCollins. The two-book deal was negotiated by Miriam Altshuler at DeFiore & Company, which said Frenchie is about “an unusual friendship between a sensitive, eccentric girl and the nonverbal boy she looks out for.” The agency elaborated that the book explores “how communication occurs through something much greater than spoken words.”
● Deepti Kapoor’s trilogy Age of Vice (which we covered last month as a hot film property in our Behind the Deal section) has been optioned by FX and Fox 21 TV. Deadline reported that “a remarkable 20 bids hit the table” for the series (also just acquired by Riverhead for seven figures), about a powerful and corrupt Indian family. Deadline added that the deal points to the “boom market for sticky books with global appeal.”
●According to Deadline, Elizabeth Gabler’s newly formed 3000 Pictures won an auction for film rights to Kevin Wilson’s just-published Nothing to See Here (Ecco).
● Maria Peters’s The Conductor has been preempted in Brazil. The novel, originally published in the Netherlands by Boekerij, has now sold in five territories, including Italy, France, and Spain. The 2 Seas Agency, which is handling foreign rights, said the book is a “moving historical” work “based on the story of the first successful female [symphony orchestra] conductor, Antonia Brico.”
● London poet and performer Salena Godden sold her debut novel to Canongate. The Bookseller reported that the publisher describes the currently untitled work as an “electrifying genre- and form-defying firestarter.” Canongate preempted world rights and plans to publish in February 2021.
For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.
Correction: Due to a publisher error, an earlier version of this article stated that Catherine Coulter's new deal with William Morrow earned her a six-figure advance. Coulter's new deal with the publisher earned her a seven-figure advance.