DEAL OF THE WEEK
George’s Debut Goes to St. Martin’s
In a seven-figure, two-book preempt, Sarah Cantin at St. Martin’s Press bought Bloomsbury UK assistant editor Jessica George’s debut novel, Maame. George was represented by Michelle Brower at Aevitas Creative Management, working on behalf of Jemima Forrester at U.K.-based David Higham Associates. The book, St. Martin’s said, follows a 20-something British Ghanaian woman in London who is navigating “family conflict, dating, unfulfilling work, roommates who aren’t quite friends, grief, and cultural differences in the wake of a personal tragedy.” The novel was compared, in pitches, to The Other Black Girl and Queenie. In the U.K., Hodder & Stoughton won Maame in an eight-house auction.
FROM THE U.S.
Podcasters Talk Race at Park Row
Yseult Polfliet Mukantabana and Hannah Summerhill, who cohost the Kinswomen podcast, sold Real Friends Talk About Race: Bridging the Gaps Through Uncomfortable Conversations to Park Row Books. Laura Brown preempted world rights from Tess Callero at Europa Content. The publisher said the book, like the podcast, will examine a range of race-related topics, offering “two perspectives on the covert and overt ways racism shows up in our daily lives and interactions, and what the responsibilities of both white people and people of color are to bridge the gaps.” Real Friends Talk About Race is set for fall 2022.
Tordotcom Gets ‘Desperate’ with Tesh
For six figures, Ruoxi Chen at Tordotcom bought North American rights to two novels by Emily Tesh. The publisher said the first, Some Desperate Glory, set for 2022, follows a young soldier who “trains to avenge the murder of Earth at the hands of an all-powerful, reality-shaping alien weapon before discovering she might have to take everything into her own hands.” The second book in the deal is a currently untitled fantasy standalone. Tesh (the Greenhollow Duology) was represented by Kurestin Armada at Root Literary.
Monáe’s ‘Librarian’ Checks Out Voyager
Multihyphenate Janelle Monáe sold a cyberpunk story collection, The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories from Dirty Computer, to Harper Voyager. David Pomerico took North American rights from William Morris Endeavor’s Eve Atterman and Suzanne Gluck. Voyager said the book, which Monáe collaborated on with other writers, expands on the Afrofuturistic world she created in her 2018 album Dirty Computer. (The album follows a character named Jane 57821, who breaks free of a worldwide system of thought control ruled by a nebulous group that believes it has the power to decide all creatures’ fates.) The publisher added that the collection, set for April 2022, “explores how different threads of liberation—queerness, race, gender plurality, and love—become tangled with future possibilities of memory and time in such a totalitarian landscape... and what the costs might be when trying to unravel and weave them into freedoms.”
Jenner’s ‘Girls’ Join St. Martin’s
Natalie Jenner, author of the 2020 international bestseller The Jane Austen Society, has re-upped with St. Martin’s Press. She sold Bloomsbury Girls to Keith Kahla at the Macmillan imprint. The novel, set in 1950 London, is planned for spring 2022. St. Martin’s said it “relates the struggles and triumphs of three female employees of a century-old tradition-bound London bookshop, each of whom is striving to establish independent creative, professional, and personal lives.” Mitchell Waters at Brandt and Hochman handled the North American rights agreement for Jenner.