Ballantine Hires Gilmer’s ‘Gilmer’

After an auction, Ballantine’s Emily Hartley won Benjamin Gilmer’s The Other Dr. Gilmer. Calling the book “part true crime investigation, part medical mystery, and part social justice crusade,” the publisher said the title chronicles a physician’s realization, after accepting a job in rural North Carolina, that a previous doctor, sharing his name, went to prison. The publisher went on, “Obsessed with finding out how this beloved community member could become a killer, he discovers that the other Dr. Gilmer has a serious medical condition and launches into a quest to ‘heal crime’ and address the huge mental health problem in our prison system.” The book, sold in a North American rights agreement by Lara Love Hardin at Idea Architects, is expanded from a story Gilmer told in a 2013 episode of This American Life, which, per Ballantine, has been downloaded 10 millions times. 



Pearl’s ‘Trials’ Taken Up at Knopf

For Knopf, Andrew Miller nabbed North American rights to Lisa Pearl’s nonfiction work Trials of War. E.J. McCarthy, who has an eponymous shingle, represented the author, calling the book “a definitive account of the largest war crimes prosecution effort in American history—the U.S. Army’s war crimes trials program in Germany.” In the book, Pearl, the former director of national operations at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, traces the experiences of various figures involved in what are known as the Dachau trials, which included 460 trials, with more than 1,600 defendants, that took place between 1945 and 1947.

Tor Gets Sunny with Parker’s ‘California Boy’

Three-time Edgar winner and bestseller T. Jefferson Parker sold California Boy to Tor/Forge in a six-figure deal. Kristin Sevick and Linda Quinton bought world English rights to the novel, at auction, from Mark Gottlieb and Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group. The agents, comparing the book to Emma Cline’s The Girls, Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing, and Quentin Tarantino’s Once upon a Time in Hollywood, said it follows a young man’s search for his missing sister that “takes him into the bright, beautiful heart of Southern California in the Roaring ’60s... and also into its decadent heart of darkness.” A second, currently untitled thriller was included in the deal. California Boy is slated for fall 2021.

Catapult Wraps Wenzel’s ‘Coils’

German playwright Olivia Wenzel’s 1,000 Coils of Fear was bought, in a North American rights agreement, by Catapult’s Jonathan Lee and Wah-Ming Chang. Markus Hoffmann at Regal Hoffmann & Associates said the novel, told in the form of a q&a with the narrator and her alter ego, is “a clear-sighted, witty, and polyphonic investigation into origins and belonging... and the freedoms and fears that being the odd one out brings.” The book, which has been acquired in the U.K. at auction, is set for a 2022 release from Catapult.

Neil Shows Bloomsbury Her ‘Chutzpah’

Bloomsbury’s Allison Moore preempted world rights to Haley Neil’s YA novel Once More with Chutzpah. Lauren Spieller at Triada US handled the two-book, world rights agreement. Bloomsbury said the novel “explores cultural, religious, and sexual identity as an anxious high school senior and her twin set off on a whirlwind trip through Israel.” Bloomsbury added that the novel, slated for fall 2021, was pitched as “Becky Albertalli meets Birthright.”

Montgomery to McMeel

Dacre Montgomery, who played Billy Hargrove in the Netflix series Stranger Things, sold a currently untitled book of poetry to Patty Rice at Andrews McMeel. Richard Abate and Rachel Kim at 3 Arts Entertainment handled the world rights sale for the book, which is slated for fall 2020.