DEAL OF THE WEEK
Scribner Heads to Space with Grush
After a 12-house auction, which happened over the course of a week, Scribner’s Rick Horgan won North American rights to Loren Grush’s The Six. Susan Canavan at Waxman Literary Agency, who represented Grush, likened the narrative nonfiction book to bestsellers like Code Girls and Hidden Figures. It follows, Canavan said, “the six women chosen from 8,000 applicants to be America’s first female astronauts, and the challenges they faced in their quest to fly on the space shuttle.” The author is a senior reporter at Verge and the daughter of NASA engineers. The deal also included a young readers edition, which Justin Chanda and Kendra Levin acquired for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. The Six is tentatively scheduled for spring 2023.
FROM THE U.S.
McConaughey Gets Philosophical at Crown
Matthew McConaughey sold an unorthodox memoir titled Greenlights to Crown. The book is set for October 20 and will, the Random House imprint said, feature “anecdotes, poetry, lessons, and damn good yarns” from the author, as well as a guide to his personal philosophy, which the book is named after. McConaughey—who, in addition to being an actor, cocreated a bourbon and is also a professor of practice at the University of Texas at Austin—was represented in the North American rights agreement by Eric Simonoff at William Morris Endeavor. At Crown, Gillian Blake and Matthew Inman acquired the book.
Fixsen, Sirois Shed ‘Shadow’ for Sourcebooks
Sourcebooks’ Anna Michels and Jenna Jankowski nabbed world English rights, at auction, to the historical novel The Girl in His Shadow. Jaima Fixsen and Regina Sirois, who are writing the title under the pen name Amelia Blake, were represented by Jennifer Weltz at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. Weltz said the book is about a woman who survived a mid-19th-century pandemic that “left her an orphan secretly studying medicine when such practice was prohibited by law.” Michels, at Sourcebooks, added that the novel is “inspired by so many women whose names have been largely lost to history.” The Girl in His Shadow is slated for spring 2021.
Berkley Welcomes Jeng’s ‘Other’
Web developer Sarah Zachrich Jeng sold her debut novel, The Other Me, to Jen Monroe at Berkley. The two-book, North American rights deal was brokered by Joanna MacKenzie at Nelson Literary Agency. Berkley compared the book to Netflix’s Russian Doll and the novel Dark Matter, and said it was bought after a 72-hour exclusive. The Other Me, the PRH imprint added, is “a genre-bending story about a frustrated artist who accidentally steps into a new reality where she never pursued her dreams.”
Strzok to ‘Compromise’ for HMH
Peter Strzok, a former FBI deputy assistant director, sold Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump to Alex Littlefield at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Brody took world rights from Gail Ross and Howard Yoon at the Ross Yoon Agency. In the book, HMH said, Strzok “draws on lessons from a long career—from his role in the Russian illegals case that inspired the TV series The Americans to his service as lead FBI agent on the Mueller investigation—to construct a devastating account of foreign influence at the highest levels of our government.” He also grapples with a question the publisher said all Americans should be asking: “When a president appears to favor personal and Russian interests over those of our nation, has he become a national security threat?” Compromised is set for September 8.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Deb Brody acquired Peter Strzok's Compromised. The book was acquired by Alex Littlefield at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.