DEAL OF THE WEEK
Allende’s ‘Violeta’ Heads to Ballantine
Bestselling author Isabel Allende (A Long Petal of the Sea) sold a novel, Violeta, to Jennifer Hershey at Ballantine. Hershey took North American rights from Johanna Castillo at Writers House. The agent described the book as a “sweeping new novel” in which the author “paints a portrait of a Latin American family who confronts some of the greatest trials of the last hundred years—including political upheaval, a feminist revolution, and a century bookended by two pandemics.” Violeta is slated for spring 2022.
FROM THE U.S.
Atria Nabs Ward’s Celluloid Memoir
Atria’s Michelle Herrera Mulligan preempted actor Maitland Ward’s My Escape from Hollywood for six figures. World English rights to the debut memoir were sold by Stephanie Kim at New Leaf Literary & Media. Ward appeared in a soap before landing the role of Rachel McGuire on the sitcom Boy Meets World. She then left Hollywood and started working in the adult film industry. The book, Kim said, is “a steamy, no-holds-barred memoir” chronicling Ward’s “meteoric rise to porn stardom.” It explores “why she decided to kiss mainstream Hollywood goodbye.” My Escape is set for 2022.
Lin-Greenberg Goes ‘Here’ for Counterpoint
North American English rights to Karin Lin-Greenberg’s debut novel, You Are Here, were preempted by Jennifer Alton at Counterpoint. [Kathy Schneider and Jessica Errera at the Jane Rotrosen Agency brokered the deal. Lin-Greenberg is Chinese American and won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for her story collection Faulty Predictions. The novel, Schneider said, is “a kaleidoscopic portrait of the shopkeepers and customers at a local mall in Upstate New York,” including “a 40-ish Chinese American hairstylist and her young would-be magician son.” The characters “are forced to reevaluate what they want and who they are as they confront the imminent closing of the mall.” You Are Here is set for winter 2023.
Nat Geo Travels with Nabongo
At National Geographic Books, Allyson Johnson bought world rights to Jessica Nabongo’s The Catch Me If You Can. The publisher said the author, a travel writer and photographer, is “the first documented Black woman to visit every country in the world.” The book features photographs from her travels, “with personal tales of adventure, touching human connections, and fascinating insights, as well as recommendations for your own experiences.” The Catch Me If You Can is set for May 2022. Nabongo was represented in the deal by lawyers Lisa Davis and Jennifer Batista at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.
Unnamed Signs Nworah’s Debut
Nigerian poet Adorah Nworah sold U.S. rights to her debut novel to Olivia Taylor-Smith of Unnamed Press, an indie publisher based in L.A. Nworah was represented by Sharon Pelletier at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. Pelletier said the currently untitled novel is “a work of literary horror” that follows “a young Nigerian woman who hopes marriage will give her a new life in Houston but instead finds herself a prisoner of her very traditional new mother-in-law.”
Running Takes In Glassman’s ‘Freaks’
Running Press’s Jess Riordan bought world rights to Freaks, Gleeks and Dawson’s Creek by Thea Glassman. Linda Konner, who has an eponymous shingle, brokered the deal. The debut book by the entertainment journalist describes, the agent said, “how seven iconic teen shows of the 1980s, ’90s and early ’00s—Dawson’s Creek, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, My So-Called Life, Freaks and Geeks, The O.C., Friday Night Lights, and Glee—not only transformed TV with their creative storytelling and often controversial topics but launched such top writers as Ryan Murphy and Winnie Holzman.”