DEAL OF THE WEEK
Ghansah’s ‘Explainers’ Goes to RH
In her first acquisition since moving into the role of editor-in-chief at Random House, Robin Desser bought journalist Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s The Explainers and the Explorers. Ghansah, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for a feature on Dylann Roof (a white supremacist who massacred nine people in a South Carolina church in 2015) in GQ, was represented in the North American rights agreement by Sarah Chalfant at the Wylie Agency. The book, which is the author’s first full-length work of non-fiction, will, RH said, “be a two-volume, broad-sweeping work about the black experience in America, from its very beginnings to the current day.” Ghansah is the daughter of a Ghanaian immigrant father and a Louisianan mother, and her own family story is “that of both diaspora and deep roots in American soil,” the publisher added. “This crucial, eye-opening, and rigorously researched history will reset the standards for how we talk about the true American story, and is destined to be a classic.”
FROM THE U.S.
Francis’s ‘Children’ Find a Home at Harper
Patry Francis sold All the Children Are Home, for six figures, to Sara Nelson at Harper Perennial. Francis (The Orphans of Race Point) was represented by Alice Tasman at Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. Tasman said the novel, due out in April 2021, is set in a small Massachusetts town during the 1950s and ’60s and follows, for 12 years, a family raising foster children. She said it delves into how the children “learn from their complicated matriarch to find courage and the resiliency to save themselves and each other.”
Delacorte Follows Oxford’s ‘Way’
For mid-six-figures at auction, Kelly Oxford sold her YA debut, All the Way. Krista Marino at Delacorte took North American rights to the novel in a two-book deal, brokered by Erin Malone at William Morris Endeavor. Oxford, a screenwriter whose directorial debut Pink Skies Ahead was set to premiere at this year’s now-canceled South by Southwest festival, has published two bestselling essay collections: Everything Is Perfect When You’re a Liar and When You Find Out the World Is Against You. All the Way, Delacorte said, was pitched as “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets Booksmart.” In it, a group of girls who learn that their recently deceased friend was a virgin “vow to lose their virginities before the same fate can befall them.” The book is set for spring 2022. The second book in the deal will also be a standalone novel.
Little, Brown Entertains Christie’s ‘Rehearsals’
Little, Brown’s Helen O’Hare took world rights to Annette Christie’s debut novel The Rehearsals. The novel, O’Hare said, “follows Megan and Tom, a couple who call off their wedding after a disastrous rehearsal dinner, only to wake up the next morning stuck in a time loop.” Calling the book “if One Day in December met Groundhog Day, by way of Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years,” she explained that the couple is forced to relive the day of the rehearsal, “with its painful secrets, age-old grievances, and family dramas—again and again until they get it right.” Joelle Hobeika and Viana Siniscalchi at Alloy Entertainment represented Christie on behalf of Jess Dallow at Brower Literary and Management.
Dent Lands ‘Summer Job’ at Putnam
For Putnam, Tara Singh Carlson bought North American rights to Lizzy Dent’s debut adult novel The Summer Job. The romance, sold by Amelia Evans at Penguin Random House UK (whose Viking division preempted the novel in February), is, Putnam said, a “laugh-out-loud love story” in which a woman in her early 30s flees her London life for a hotel in the Scottish Highlands, where “she pretends to be her best friend and a sommelier, and finds herself and love in the process.” The book is set for summer 2021 release in the U.S. and U.K.