DEAL OF THE WEEK
Harper Lands Vindman Memoir
In a North American rights agreement, Jonathan Jao at Harper acquired retired lieutenant colonel Alexander S. Vindman’s memoir Here, Right Matters. The book, subtitled An American Story, was sold by Christy Fletcher at Fletcher & Co. Vindman testified to Congress last year about the scandal involving President Trump and Ukraine that eventually led to Trump’s impeachment. Vindman retired from the military after pressure from the White House made his promotion to colonel unlikely. Here, Right Matters will, Harper said, “tell the story of his family’s emigration from the former Soviet Union to the United States, recount his military career leading up to the moment of truth he faced for his nation, and explore what it felt like to have the president of the United States turn the weight of his administration against him.” The book is set for spring 2021.
FROM THE U.S.
WaPo’ Columnist Sells Memoir to S&S
Making her first acquisition since joining Simon & Schuster, Dana Canedy bought Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson’s memoir Freedom Lost, Freedom Won. The publisher said that Robinson (Disintegration) is someone who has “established himself as an authority on the political landscape and the current racial tensions in the country,” and the book will tell “our nation’s torturous racial history through his own family’s story.” S&S added that Robinson’s personal family story spans “200 years of struggle and survival.” Rafe Sagalyn at ICM Partners represented Robinson in the world rights agreement. Freedom Lost, Freedom Won is slated for a 2022 publication.
Princeton Invests in Benjamin’s Latest
For a six-figure sum, Princeton University Press’s Megan Levinson nabbed Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want by activist, author, and Princeton African American studies professor Ruha Benjamin. The book was sold in a world English rights agreement by Sarah Levitt at Aevitas Creative Management. PUP said the title is “part memoir, part manifesto” and was “born out of the twin plagues of Covid-19 and police violence.” It weaves together “historical context, social science research, and personal narrative to set forward a micro theory of change,” pushing readers “to confront how we individually participate in unjust systems, even when ‘in theory’ we stand for justice.”
St. Martin’s Nabs TV Producer’s Memoir
Ticking Clock, a memoir by Ira Rosen, was acquired by Charles Spicer at St. Martin’s Press. Rosen, who was Mike Wallace’s longtime producer at 60 Minutes, will detail his behind-the-scenes experiences reporting on numerous notable stories in the book, which is set for February 2021. St. Martin’s said the title will stand as “a master class in how TV news is made.” Rosen, who represented himself, sold world rights.
Scheele’s ‘People’ Arrive at HarperOne
Michael Maudlin at HarperOne nabbed Kyle Scheele’s The People We Used to Be. Adriana Stimola at the Stimola Literary Studio represented Scheele (We Put a Man on the Moon), a motivational speaker and author, in the world rights deal. Stimola said the book offers the author’s perspective on “regret, letting go, and becoming the people we’re meant to be.” The People We Used to Be is set for fall 2022.
Tison’s ‘Saints’ Soothe FSG Kids
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers’ Grace Kendall won Saints of the Household by Ari Tison at auction for six figures. The debut YA novel was acquired in a two-book, world English rights agreement
brokered by Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties. Crowe said Saints is told in alternating narratives and features both poetry and prose. It chronicles a pair of American brothers who belong to the Bribri people of Costa Rica and are “navigating an abusive home, new love, and a secret at school as they try to understand who they want to be—saints or otherwise.” The novel is slated for fall 2023.
Headlee Teaches Harper Wave ‘How to Talk’
Julie Will at Harper Wave took North American rights to Celeste Headlee’s How to Talk to a Racist. Heather Jackson at the Heather Jackson Literary Agency brokered the deal. The publisher said the book is “a guide to having difficult conversations about race, based on the understanding that allowing for open dialogue is essential to creating meaningful social change.” Headlee is a longtime journalist and current cohost of PBS’s Retro Report. Her 2017 book We Need to Talk (also published by Harper Wave) is about how to engage in civil discourse.
Lopez’s Latest MG to Kokila
Kokila’s Joanna Cárdenas won the middle grade novel Los Monstruos by Diana Lopez (Confetti Girl) at auction. The two-book, six-figure world rights deal was brokered by Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary. The novel, the agent said, follows a girl named Felice who learns she is the daughter of the mythical ghost La Llorona of Hispanic American folklore and then “vows to help her mother make peace with the events that turned her into the most famous monstruo of U.S.-Mexico border lore. Along the way, Felice meets the children of other monstruos, and together, they reverse the curses that have plagued the town of Tres Leches, making it the sweetest place in Tejas once again.” Los Monstruos is slated for fall 2022.