DEAL OF THE WEEK
Dorman Walks Jackson’s ‘Street’
In a deal rumored to be in the seven-figure range, longtime Knopf editor Jenny Jackson sold North American rights to her debut novel, Pineapple Street, to Pamela Dorman for Dorman’s eponymous imprint at Penguin Random House. Brettne Bloom at the Book Group represented Jackson, who’s edited such authors as Emily St. John Mandel and Erin Morgenstern. The publisher said the novel, set for early 2023, follows three WASP-y and wealthy sisters living in “late-capitalist New York.” Bloom added that each sister is on her own path and is “deeply conflicted about the familial wealth she has inherited.”
FROM THE U.S.
Hart’s Debut Goes to St. Martin’s
The debut novel Weyward by Emilia Hart was acquired in a seven-figure, two-book deal. Sarah Cantin at St. Martin’s Press took North American rights from Alexandra Machinist at ICM Partners. The publisher said the book “explores witchcraft and female intuitive powers, told over five centuries through the lens of three connected women,” and was “pitched for readers of Sarah Perry, Jessie Burton, and Kate Morton.” Hart, who grew up in Australia and lives in London, trained as a lawyer. The second book is an untitled novel. Foreign rights for Weyward have sold to houses in Finland, France, Spain, the U.K., and elsewhere.
McGonigal Looks Ahead for S&G
Game designer, author, and futurist Jane McGonigal sold Imaginable: How to Pick Ourselves Up, Heal from the Pandemic, and Prepare for a Decade of Unthinkable Change to Spiegel & Grau. Chris Parris-Lamb at the Gernert Co. brokered the North American rights agreement with Cindy Spiegel. The publisher said the title, which is based on a popular class McGonigal teaches at Stanford University titled “How to Think Like a Futurist,” is “a hopeful and practical guide to using gaming strategies to engage the imagination, reframe our outlook on the world, and create the future we want for ourselves.”
Ecco Unveils Acevedo’s Adult Debut
Ecco’s Helen Atsma bought North American English-language rights, as well as U.S. Spanish-language rights, to Elizabeth Acevedo’s debut adult novel. The author (who won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for the 2018 YA novel The Poet X) was represented by Alexandra Machinist at ICM Partners. Ecco said the book, which is currently untitled, follows a Dominican American family “through the lives of its women as they await the wake of one of the family’s matriarchs, Rosa, who has decided she wants the ritual to happen while she is still alive.” The Spanish-language edition will be edited by Ariana Rosado-Fernández and will be published by HarperCollins Español simultaneously with Ecco’s English-language edition in 2023.
Holt Welcomes Spector’s ‘Baby’
Ronnie Spector, lead singer of the Ronettes, sold a memoir to Holt. Sarah Crichton won world rights to Be My Baby at auction from Robert Guinsler at Sterling Lord Literistic. The book is, per Holt, a chronicle of the author’s “dreamlike rise from the streets of Spanish Harlem to the pinnacle of rock stardom, her nightmarish descent into madness as the wife of Phil Spector, and her subsequent escape and struggle to reclaim her voice.” The deal follows a 2020 agreement that film production company A24 closed with Spector, both buying her life rights and optioning her autobiography; the film adaptation of her life story has Zendaya (star of the HBO series Euphoria) attached. Be My Baby is set for January 2022.
Amistad Buys Walker’s New Essays
Amistad’s Tracy Sherrod bought a currently untitled essay collection by Jerald Walker. The author, an Emerson College professor, was shortlisted for a 2020 National Book Award for his 2020 essay collection How to Make a Slave and other Essays. Katherine Flynn at Kneerim & Williams represented Walker in the world English rights deal.
Doubleday Visits Yanagihara’s ‘Paradise’
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life) sold To Paradise to Doubleday. Bill Thomas took U.S. rights to the book from Anna Stein at ICM Partners. The publisher said the novel is set in an alternate America in 1893, 1993, and 2093, with the stories told in the three periods “joined in an enthralling and ingenious symphony.” It’s driven by Yanagihara’s “understanding of the aching desire to protect those we love—partners, lovers, children, friends, family, and even our fellow citizens—and the pain that ensues when we cannot.” To Paradise is slated for January 2022.
S&S Answers Ross’s ‘Calling’
Smith College associate professor and human rights activist Loretta J. Ross sold Calling In the Calling Out Culture to Simon & Schuster at auction. Stuart Roberts and Priscilla Painton acquired world rights from David Kuhn and Nate Muscato at Aevitas Creative Management. The book, S&S said, draws on Ross’s extensive experience as an activist and “rethinks how we communicate with each other about the issues that matter most, and offers practical guidance to explore how we process our pain, forge our relationships, and access our joy even as we combat oppression.” Calling In the Calling Out Culture is set for fall 2022.