DEAL OF THE WEEK
Jamison Re-ups at Little, Brown
Bestseller Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams) struck a two-book, North American rights agreement with her standing publisher, Little, Brown. Ben George bought a nonfiction work titled Splinters, as well as a novel, Risk, in a deal brokered by Jin Auh at the Wylie Agency. George said Splinters is “a blend of memoir and criticism exploring single motherhood in the wake of divorce, as well as the intertwining of parenting and art.” Risk, he added, is about “the fraying marriage of a Brooklyn couple who permit themselves ever-escalating forms of sexual and emotional freedom in their relationship as a means of holding it together.”
Flatiron Buys Brashears’s ‘Cotton’
House of Cotton by Monica Brashears was preempted by Flatiron Books executive editor Nadxieli Nieto, in a North American rights deal brokered by Hafizah Geter and PJ Mark at Janklow & Nesbit. The publisher said the debut is a “Black Southern gothic” about a woman who is offered a “modeling gig” by the owner of a funeral parlor. The job calls for the woman, at the behest of white families, to “take on the identities of their dead.” Set for winter 2023, House of Cotton melds “fairy tales and Black humor to complicate what it means to be poor, Black, and a woman in the God-fearing South in the era of Netflix and Onlyfans.” Flatiron said Brashears is an Affrilachian writer currently attending Syracuse’s MFA program.
WD Vouches for Bird’s ‘Character’
In a world rights agreement, Matt Bird sold The Secrets of Character: Writing a Hero Anyone Will Love to Marian Lizzi at Penguin Random House’s Writer’s Digest imprint. Inkwell Management’s Stephen Barbara represented the author and said that the book is a writers’ guide focusing on “strategies that will help writers immediately bond readers to their main characters.” Bird, who has an MFA in screenwriting from Columbia, runs the blog The Secrets of Story and has written a book and hosts a podcast of the same name. The Secrets of Character is slated for April 2022.
S&S to Tell Anne Frank’s ‘Last Secret’
Simon & Schuster’s LaSharah Bunting preempted world English rights to Joop van Wijk-Voskuijl and Jeroen De Bruyn’s The Last Secret of the Secret Annex. The book, S&S said, tells the story of Bep Voskuijl, a Dutch woman who was “Anne Frank’s closest confidante” and “protector” while she was in hiding from the Nazis. It reveals, among other things, “insights on who may have betrayed the Frank family to the Germans,” which led to their arrest. Van Wijk-Voskuijl is Voskuijl’s son and De Bruyn is a Belgian journalist; they were represented by Peter Bernstein and Amy Bernstein at Bernstein Literary Agency.
Schilling’s Memoir Goes to Viking
Terezia Cicel at Viking bought world rights to journalist Vincent Schilling’s memoir Unspoken: The Systemic Effort to Cut Out the Native Tongue. Michael Longclaws at Javelin represented Schilling, who is an enrolled Akwesasne Mohawk and works for the news organization Indian Country Today. He also cohosts the Indigenous online radio program Native Trailblazers. Unspoken, Javelin said, is “a powerful family memoir” that uses the experiences of Schilling’s grandmother at a boarding school to delve into a larger story about the history of efforts to “extinguish Native languages and cultures,” and today’s desperate race to preserve them.