DEAL OF THE WEEK
Scribner to Publish Osnos on Biden
New Yorker staff writer and National Book Award winner Evan Osnos sold a book on Joe Biden to Scribner. Colin Harrison acquired North American rights to Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now from Jennifer Joel at ICM Partners. It’s adapted from profiles of Biden that Osnos wrote for the New Yorker. Set for October 27, the book will, Harrison said, be “a nuanced and deeply reported portrait of Joe Biden” and will explore “his political sojourn after being passed over for Hillary Clinton in 2016, his decision to challenge Donald Trump for the presidency, and his choice of Kamala Harris as his running mate.”
FROM THE U.S.
Dawson Launches MG Series at First Second
After a seven-house auction, Mark Siegel at First Second bought Mike Dawson’s The 5th Quarter for six figures. The world rights, two-book agreement was brokered by Gordon Warnock at Fuse Literary. Warnock said the book by the Ignatz Award–winning cartoonist is the first entry in a planned middle grade graphic novel series that he pitched as “Roller Girl meets Real Friends with a dash of Rip and Red.” The series, he added, grapples with “identity, friendship, and self-esteem in the world of preteen girls’ basketball.” The 5th Quarter is set for May 2021.
Flatiron Travels Back to Zhang’s ‘Idaho’
Caroline Bleeke at Flatiron Books preempted Jenny Tinghui Zhang’s debut novel, Five Chinese Hanged in Idaho. The University of Wyoming MFA graduate was represented by Stephanie Delman at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates in the North American rights agreement. The book is set in the American West circa the 1880s against the backdrop, Delman explained, of the Chinese Exclusion Act (an 1882 law barring most Chinese citizens from immigrating to the U.S.). The novel follows “a Chinese girl who is forced to reinvent herself as three different people in order to survive.”
Armstrong Lets her ‘Light’ Shine at Putnam
Putnam’s Tara Singh Carlson preempted 22-year-old Addison Armstrong’s debut novel in a two-book, world rights deal. Set for summer 2021, The Light of Luna Park follows, Putnam said, “a 1920s New York City nurse who chooses to save a premature baby’s life, risking her career and reputation in the process, and a young teacher in 1950 who discovers that the past is not as immutable as we think.” Melissa Danaczko at the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency represented Armstrong.
TV Writer-Producer Sells Debut
Stephen Lloyd, who was an executive producer on TV’s Modern Family, sold his debut novel in a preempt to Mark Tavani at Putnam. Fallen is, the publisher said, a “noir and horror mash-up centered on an insurance investigator with PTSD who is sent to an elite prep school when a priceless book is stolen.” The book, sold by Richard Abate at 3 Arts Entertainment, is scheduled for 2022.
Phillip Details Jackson’s ‘Dream’
The Dream Deferred, about Jesse Jackson’s 1988 run to become the Democratic nominee for president, was acquired by Zachary Wagman at Flatiron Books. The book, by CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip, is subtitled Jesse Jackson, Black Political Power, and the Year that Changed America. Flatiron said it explores how Jackson’s “populist message and his coalition of women, young people, and people of color became the standard for future successful Democratic campaigns.” Matt Latimer and Keith Urbahn at Javelin sold world rights to the book, which is slated for summer 2022.