S&S Nabs a Juneteenth-Themed Cookbook

Food writer Nicole Taylor sold a cookbook dedicated to recipes for the Juneteenth holiday to Simon & Schuster. Watermelon and Red Birds, slated for 2022, was acquired in a world rights agreement by Dawn Davis (who is now at Bon Appétit) from Sharon Bowers at Folio Literary Management. The celebration of Juneteenth, which honors the day in 1865 when news of emancipation reached Galveston, Tex., marking the end of slavery in the U.S., is becoming more popular throughout the country. The book, to be edited by Emily Graff, will, S&S said, feature recipes for dishes like blueberry and beef puff pies and sweet potato yogurt pops, and be geared to readers “eager to raise glasses and break bread to honor Mrs. Red, White, and Blue’s forgotten backbone.” Taylor (The Up South Cookbook) is a former executive food editor at Thrillist and a two-time James Beard Award nominee.


Coe’s Take on JFK to Crown

Crown’s Paul Whitlatch took North American rights to a biography of John F. Kennedy by bestselling author Alexis Coe (You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington). The book, which Jay Mandel at William Morris Endeavor sold, is tentatively titled Young Jack and will focus on JFK’s early years up to 1956, when he published Profiles in Courage. Coe, Crown said, will explore “the myriad identities of the adolescent Kennedy—unprotected celebrity, bed-bound invalid, private-school prankster, journalist, war hero, and senator—and how he navigated devastating national crises as he came of age during the world wars.” In addition to her authorial credits, Coe appears as an expert on MSNBC, offering, Crown explained, “historical context on current events.”

Penguin Classics Visits Darma’s ‘Bloomington’

People from Bloomington by Indonesian author Budi Darma was acquired in a world English rights deal by Elda Rotor at Penguin Classics. Jayapriya Vasudevan and Helen Mangham at Jacaranda Literary brokered the agreement for the book, a collection of seven short stories, with Indonesian publisher Noura Books. Penguin described Darma as one of his country’s “most beloved and respected living authors.” The book follows a group of characters in Bloomington, Ind., where Darma lived for a period, and, the publisher said, “blurs the boundaries between Western and Eastern literature.” Tiffany Tsao is translating the title.

Saint John Gets ‘Urgent’ with Viking

In a North American rights agreement, Viking’s Meg Leder bought Bozoma Saint John’s memoir, The Urgent Life. The author, who was represented by Suzanne Gluck at William Morris Endeavor, currently works for Netflix as its global chief marketing officer; she also cohosts a podcast with Katie Couric titled Back to Biz with Katie and Boz, about how thought leaders are responding to societal shifts brought on by the pandemic. Her book will focus on her career successes, as well as how she’s overcome personal tragedy and adversity, including the sudden loss of her husband. Describing the title, which is slated for 2022, Viking said it will be “a road map to navigating struggle, and a touchstone for those enduring their own battles, letting them know that they are not alone.”

Engler Sells Illustrated Take on 2020

Riva Hocherman at Holt’s Metropolitan Books nabbed North American rights to Elise Engler’s A Diary of the Plague Year: An Illustrated Chronicle of 2020. The title, slated for November 2021, grew out of a task New York artist Engler set for herself years ago to, the publisher explained, “do one drawing a day of the first three headlines she heard on the radio when she woke up.” Taking up the call in 2020, Engler went on to create, Metropolitan said, “an accidental yet extraordinarily original and indelible record of an extraordinary year.” Duvall Osteen at Aragi, Inc., represented the author.