DEAL OF THE WEEK
Reacher Stays in the Family
Lee Child, the pen name of James Dover Grant, brought a new coauthor into the fold with his latest contract. The four-book North American rights agreement was brokered by Richard Pine and Kim Witherspoon at Inkwell Management with Random House president and publisher Gina Centrello; it will see Child writing the next four installments in the bestselling Jack Reacher series with his brother, author Andrew Grant (Too Close to Home). The Sentinel, to be published under the names Lee and Andrew Child, is set for fall 2020. Random House said the Reacher series has more than 100 million copies in print worldwide.
FROM THE U.S.
S&S Welcomes Hoffmann’s ‘Children’
In a high-six-figure deal, Jeff Hoffmann sold his debut novel, Other People’s Children, to Marysue Rucci at Simon & Schuster. Harvey Klinger, who has an eponymous shingle, handled the world rights agreement for Hoffmann; he said that in the novel, “an adoptive couple’s agreement with the teenage biological mother of their infant daughter goes horribly awry, sending everyone on a brutal collision course while uncovering issues of class and trust.” Hoffmann, who formerly worked in technology, has an MFA from Columbia College Chicago.
Gessen Tackles Trump for Riverhead
Journalist and National Book Award–winner Masha Gessen sold a book about the Trump administration to Rebecca Saletan at Riverhead. The North American rights agreement for Surviving Autocracy was brokered by Elyse Cheney at the Cheney Agency. Riverhead said the book is a “galvanizing analysis of the destruction the Trump administration has waged on our institutions, the cultural norms we hoped would save us, and our very sense of identity.” The book, set for a June 2020 release, is expanded from an essay Gessen wrote immediately after Trump’s election, titled “Autocracy: Rules for Survival,” that went viral.
Sebastian’s ‘Shadows’ Fall on Ace
After an auction, Ace’s Anne Sowards won North American rights to the debut adult novel by bestselling YA author Laura Sebastian. Half Sick of Shadows is, Ace said, “a feminist reimagining of the Arthurian legend.” In it, a woman named Elaine of Shalott “rejects the future her visions prophesize and transforms the story of King Arthur we’ve come to know.” John Cusick at Folio Literary Management represented Sebastian, and the book is slated for summer 2021.
Nelson Gets Critical at Graywolf
Maggie Nelson, whose bestselling memoir The Argonauts was one of PW’s top 10 best books of 2015, sold two new titles to Graywolf Press. The first, The Myth of Freedom, set for fall 2021, is, the publisher said, “a heady, brilliant, iconoclastic work of criticism.” The second book in the deal is a currently untitled essay collection. Graywolf described the latter as “a series of deep dives into the work of individual artists.” Ethan Nosowsky, editorial director at Graywolf, acquired North American rights from PJ Mark at Janklow & Nesbit.
Dutch WWII Memoir to Scribner
For six figures, Scribner’s Valerie Steiker nabbed North American rights to a WWII memoir by Selma van de Perre, a Dutch resistance fighter and concentration camp survivor. My Name Is Selma was preempted by Steiker after the book sold in a number of foreign rights deals. Released on January 9 in the Netherlands by Thomas Rap, the book has, to date, sold in Germany, Italy, and the U.K. Bernat Fiol at SalmaiaLit, who is handling foreign sales for the title and brokered the agreement with Steiker, said the memoir is currently on the Dutch bestseller list. The 97-year-old author became a journalist after the war and has worked for the BBC and as a foreign correspondent for a Dutch television station. In 1983 she won the Dutch Resistance Commemoration Cross. She lives in London.
Photographer Sells ‘Inferno’
Documentary photographer Stuart Palley sold a narrative nonfiction book about California wildfires to Blackstone Publishing. Into the Inferno was sold by Jennifer Chen Tran at Bradford Literary, who said that the book is “about braving harrowing conditions on the front lines of California’s major wildfires” and addresses “how climate change is permanently altering the world.” Vikki Warner took world rights to the title, which Blackstone has slated for fall 2021.
Ballantine Keeps Lefteri’s ‘Songbirds’
Christy Lefteri, author of the 2019 bestseller The Beekeeper of Aleppo, sold a new novel to Andra Miller, her editor at Ballantine. Songbirds, Ballantine said, follows “a Nepali domestic worker living on the island of Cyprus who goes missing.” Her employer tries to unravel the mystery of the disappearance and finds herself “embroiled in the deeper truths of modern slavery.” Lefteri was represented by
Marianne Gunn O’Connor, who has an eponymous shingle and sold North American rights in the deal.