DEAL OF THE WEEK
Wright’s Covid Tome Goes to Knopf
Pulitzer Prize–winner Lawrence Wright (The Looming Tower) sold an expansive work about Covid-19 in the U.S. to Ann Close at Knopf, who took North American rights. An excerpt from The Plague Year, which is slated for release June 8, appeared in the January 4 and 11 issue of the New Yorker. Knopf said the book “takes us inside the Centers for Disease Control and the White House, into a hospital’s Covid ward, into the realm of prediction specialists, and even inside the human body” to give readers “the first clear-eyed assessment of this ongoing catastrophe.” Wright was represented by Andrew Wylie at the Wylie Agency.
FROM THE U.S.
Holt Bites into Moriarty’s ‘Apples’
Bestselling novelist Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies) sold a new book to Henry Holt. Apples Never Fall was acquired by the author’s longtime editor, Amy Einhorn, who took U.S., Canadian, Philippine, and nonexclusive open market rights in the deal. The novel, Holt said, is about a seemingly perfect suburban family, the Delaneys. When the mother, Joy, disappears, the clan’s facade is punctured as the four adult children begin “re-examining their parents’ marriage and their family history with fresh, frightened eyes. Is [Joy’s] disappearance related to their mysterious house guest from last year? Or were things never as rosy as they seemed in the Delaney household?” Faye Bender at the Book Group represented Moriarty. Apples Never Fall is set for September.
Gladwell’s ‘Mafia’ Hits Little, Brown
The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell was nabbed by Asya Muchnick, his longstanding editor at Little, Brown, in a world rights agreement. Subtitled A Dream, A Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War, the book, LB said, “delves deep into questions of how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war.” The audio edition of the book will be published by Pushkin Industries, Gladwell’s audio production company (which also produces Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast). LB added that the book “weaves together various story lines to illustrate how differing ideologies about air bombing culminated in the single deadliest night of World War II.” Pushkin Industries represented Gladwell in the agreement. The Bomber Mafia is set for April.
Angoe’s ‘Knight’ Heralded at T&M
With a six-figure preempt, Thomas & Mercer’s Megha Parekh bought Yasmin Angoe’s Her Name Is Knight in a two-book, world rights deal. The Ghanaian American author, who was represented by Melissa Edwards at Stonesong, won the 2020 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. Knight is slated for fall 2021. Edwards said it’s told in alternating timelines and is “driven by revenge, passion, and knowing your true name, regardless of what someone calls you.” TV rights to the novel were optioned by Endeavor Content in a separate seven-figure deal brokered by Addison Duffy at UTA.
FSG Welcomes Jawando’s ‘Black Fathers’
For Farrar, Straus and Giroux, editor-at-large Ileene Smith preempted Will Jawando’s My Black Fathers. The nonfiction work, subtitled The Seven Men Who Healed Me, is, FSG said, “an inspiring book about fathers and sons, Black masculinity, and the transformative power of mentors in the life of a young Black man.” The author is an attorney, activist, and Montgomery County (Md.) councilman. The subjects he profiles include a wide range of people in his life, from “a boy he looked up to on the basketball court to Barack Obama, for whom he worked in the White House.” Tanya McKinnon at McKinnon Literary sold North American rights to the book, which is set for spring 2022, to coincide with Father’s Day and graduation events.