DEAL OF THE WEEK
Jong-Fast Takes ‘Good Time’ to One Signal
In a six-figure, North American rights deal, Julia Cheiffetz at Simon & Schuster’s One Signal Publishers bought The Last Good Time by Daily Beast editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast. The book examines how the excesses of the 1990s set the stage for the political friction and vast inequality the U.S. is experiencing today. Jong-Fast shows, S&S said, “how technological innovation outpaced our ability to regulate it” and “how government policies fanned the flames of war and cultural division no one could yet fathom.” The book “celebrates and dissects a decade that derailed our nation, whether we knew it or not.” Pilar Queen at United Talent Agency represented Jong-Fast, who also cohosts the podcast The New Abnormal and is the daughter of novelist Erica Jong. The Last Good Time is slated for fall 2023.
FROM THE U.S.
Lahiri and Baraz Tackle Ovid
Pulitzer-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri has teamed with Princeton classics professor Yelena Baraz on a new translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Eric Simonoff at William Morris Endeavor sold the book to Noa Shapiro at Penguin Random House’s Modern Library. The publisher called it “a fresh, nuanced, and faithful rendering” of the Latin poem, adding that the translation illuminates “transformation, loss of agency, and reclamation of power in one of the most influential works of Western culture.”
Garrett’s ‘Sister’ Joins Mulholland
Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett was preempted in a six-figure, two-book, world rights agreement by Helen O’Hare at Mulholland Books. The novel opens with the death of a Black reality TV star, but “no one bats an eye” when her body is found, the publisher said, “except her estranged half sister, whose refusal to believe the official story leads her on a dangerous search for the truth.” Garrett, who wrote for the TV show Cold Case before becoming an author, won both Agatha and Anthony awards for her 2017 novel Hollywood Homicide. She was represented in the new deal by Michelle Richter at Fuse Literary.
Metropolitan Lands Scott-Heron Bio
Riva Hocherman at Metropolitan Books preempted world rights to Giovanni Russonello’s The First Minute of a New Day: Gil Scott-Heron’s Revolution. Scott-Heron was a musician, author, and activist—known largely for his spoken-word poem “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”—who was part of an artistic and political community in Washington, D.C., in the 1970s and ’80s. The book, Metropolitan said, positions him as “one of the great American artists of the 20th century.” It also explores how D.C. in those decades was “the site of a grand experiment in Black self-governance—one whose history remains largely unwritten, despite its powerful relevance today.” Russonello, a music critic and political columnist at the New York Times, was represented by Tanya McKinnon at McKinnon Literary.
Shaara Closes Double at St. Martin’s
In her first acquisition as publisher-at-large at Macmillan, Sally Richardson bought world rights to two new historical novels by Jeff Shaara. Keith Kahla at St. Martin’s will edit the first book, which is currently untitled. Doug Grad at Doug Grad Literary represented Shaara, the bestselling author of Gods and Generals and other historical novels, as well as a three-time winner of the American Library Association’s William Young Boyd Award. The publisher said the first book under contract is “in the vein of E.L. Doctorow and Caleb Carr” and that it explores “the last days of the untamed American frontier and the birth of modern American society through the lens of the president who straddled both eras, Theodore Roosevelt.” The book will be released in spring 2023.