Khanna Makes ‘Tech Work’ for S&S

Ro Khanna, a congressman whose district includes Silicon Valley, sold Dignity in a Digital Age to Simon & Schuster. The book, subtitled Making Tech Work for All of Us, was acquired by executive editor Stephanie Frerich in a world rights agreement from Jim Levine at the Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. S&S said Khanna tackles “equal access to technology,” one of the pressing issues of our day, and makes the case for “democratizing digital innovation in order to build economically vibrant and inclusive communities.” Before being elected to Congress, Khanna served as deputy assistant secretary of commerce in the Obama administration.


Orbit Sprinkles Abdullah’s ‘Stardust’

After an auction, Orbit’s Brit Hvide won world English rights, for six figures, to a debut epic fantasy trilogy by Chelsea Abdullah, which the author described as “Arab inspired.” She was represented by Jennifer Azantian of Azantian Literary Agency. The first novel, The Stardust Thief, slated for May 2022, is influenced by One Thousand and One Nights and, Azantian explained, is set in a world with “dangerous jinn, magical artifacts, shifting dunes, a legendary smuggler, and a cowardly prince.” It follows the smuggler and the prince as they set off on a quest through the desert to retrieve a lamp that “could revive a barren land.”

Calandrelli Gets ‘Curious’ for Prism

Cara Bedick at Chronicle Prism bought Emily Calandrelli’s Stay Curious and Keep Exploring from Jennifer Keene and Kyell Thomas at Octagon in a world rights agreement. The publisher said the science guide for families features “50 experiments that use easy-to-find items, apply STEM research to real life, and spark curiosity and critical thinking.” Calandrelli is an MIT-educated engineer who hosts (and coexecutive produces) the Netflix show Emily’s Wonder Lab.

Ballantine ‘Heals’ with Bradford

Psychologist Joy Harden Bradford sold Sisterhood Heals to Chelcee Johns at Ballantine Books. Johns preempted North American rights from Rebecca Gradinger at Fletcher & Company. Bradford hosts the podcast Therapy for Black Girls, and her book, according to Ballantine, is “a celebration and guide to the transformative nature of Black women’s relationships with one another.” It addresses such topics as “the evolution of sisterhood” and “the process of finding your people.” Sisterhood Heals is set for summer 2023.

Avery Buys Barrat’s Book on Suicide

Avery’s Caroline Sutton bought North American rights to James Barrat’s Solving Suicide from William Clark at William Clark Associates. Barrat is a documentary filmmaker, and the book is a companion to a September 2022–slated PBS special on the topic that he directed. Clark said Solving Suicide melds personal stories with “optimistic findings and actionable advice” about suicide from scientists, policymakers, psychiatrists, and others.

Algonquin Buys Nguyễn’s Sophomore Novel

World rights to Dust Child by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai​ were acquired by Algonquin’s Betsy Gleick from Julie Stevenson at Massie & McQuilkin. Nguyễn is the author of the lauded 2020 bestseller The Mountains Sing (also published by Algonquin), and her sophomore novel follows three American and Vietnamese families from the 1960s to the present as they grapple with trauma, according to the publisher. Dust Child focuses, Algonquin added, on “the ostracizing of abandoned Amerasian people in Vietnam.”

Correction: The subhead for the final item has been changed from the print edition.