DEAL OF THE WEEK
Harper Preps for Wade’s ‘Apocalypse’
In a high-six-figure acquisition, Gail Winston at Harper won Lizzie Wade’s Apocalypse at auction. Wade is a correspondent for Science and was represented in the world English rights agreement by Sarah Levitt at Aevitas Creative Management. The nonfiction work, Levitt said, “reframes human history as a series of crises and cataclysms, from the rise of Homo sapiens in our deep past to the ongoing colonization of the Americas in our present.” She likened the book to Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction and Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens, noting that it ultimately asks, “How can we harness what archeologists know about past apocalypses to better prepare us for our present and future apocalypses?”
FROM THE U.S.
Abrams Seeks ‘Justice’ at Doubleday
Politician, voting rights activist, and author Stacey Abrams (Our Time Is Now) sold a new novel, While Justice Sleeps, to Jason Kaufman at Doubleday. Linda Loewenthal at the Loewenthal Company brokered the North American rights agreement. The Supreme Court–set thriller, Abrams said in statement, draws on her background in politics and as a lawyer, and “weaves between the court, the White House, and international intrigue to see what happens when a lowly law clerk controls the fate of a nation.” Kaufman added that the novel is timely, coming “when the political dynamic of the Supreme Court is so important and tenuous.” While Justice Sleeps is set for May 2021, and Doubleday said it is planning a first printing of 150,000 copies.
Powers, Post-Pulitzer, Returns to Norton
For Norton, John Glusman took U.S. and open market rights to Richard Powers’s Bewilderment. Powers, who won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Overstory, was represented by Melanie Jackson at the Melanie Jackson Agency. Bewilderment, set for fall 2021, is about, Norton said, “a fierce love of a father for his young son.” Glusman, Powers’s longtime editor, added that the novel asks the question, “What world is this, at once perilous and imperiled, that we are leaving for our children to inhabit?” The Overstory has more than one million copies in print, according to the publisher.
Chizmar’s ‘Boogeyman’ Spooks Gallery
After an exclusive submission, Gallery Books’ Ed Schlesinger preempted Richard Chizmar’s novel Chasing the Boogeyman for six figures. Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency handled the North American and open market rights agreement. Nelson said the novel, which concerns sinister goings-on in a small town, is “structured like a true crime memoir” and features a fictional version of the author as narrator. The character Richard Chizmar “is rocked by evil invading the streets and destroying the innocence of his small town of Edgewood, Md.” Chasing the Boogeyman is slated for August 2021 and is the first novel by Chizmar, who cowrote the novella “Gwendy’s Button Box” with Stephen King.
Ralph’s ‘Before 13th’ Goes to Amistad
Michael Ralph sold his graphic novel Before 13th to Amistad in a six-figure deal. Patrik Henry Bass bought world rights to the book, which features art by Nia Palmer and Laura Molnar. Ralph is an anthropologist at NYU and was represented by Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary. The agent said the book employs little-known details about a feud between Ida B. Wells and Frederick Douglass (who serve as narrators) to delve into “an untold story about the history of slavery and incarceration.” It “demonstrates that convict leasing, the system in which Southern states leased prisoners to private railways, mines, and large plantations, was not created through the 13th Amendment, but started several decades prior at a prison in Kentucky that eventually held both white and Black people, and people of all genders,”