Morrow Bets Big on an Adult Debut

After a 10-house auction, Lucia Macro at William Morrow won North American rights to Emiko Jean’s adult debut, Mika in Real Life, for seven figures. Jean is the author of the YA novel Tokyo Ever After, which was a Reese’s Book Club YA Pick. The deal was brokered by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management and Joelle Hobeika at Alloy Entertainment. Mika in Real Life follows a Japanese American woman who, Harris said, “reconnects with the daughter she placed for adoption 17 years ago and suddenly gets a second chance at motherhood, love, and the career she always wanted.” The novel also explores “larger issues of overcoming personal trauma and the model minority myth.” A number of foreign rights deals for the book have closed, in the U.K., Denmark, Germany, Italy, and elsewhere.

Sourcebooks Nabs New Horan

Nancy Horan (Loving Frank) sold a currently untitled historical novel to Shana Drehs at Sourcebooks Landmark. Lisa Bankoff at Bankoff Collaborative brokered the North American rights agreement and said the book tells the story of a young Portuguese refugee who seeks asylum in the U.S. with her family in the 19th century. It follows her over decades as she “bears witness to the dramatic events that reshape the nation during and after the Civil War and that lead to the horrific and little-known Springfield race riot of 1908.” The novel is tentatively scheduled for February 2023.

Amistad Honors Biakolo’s ‘Foremothers’

In a six-figure agreement, Amistad’s Jennifer Baker bought North American rights to Kovie Biakolo’s debut, Foremothers. The former BuzzFeed News editor was represented by Peter Steinberg at Fletcher & Company. The nonfiction work is subtitled 500 Years of Heroines from the African Diaspora, and, according to Steinberg, it “gives a voice to the African and African-descended women who are often excised from history’s narrative.” Biakolo focuses on seven women and links them “chronologically into a greater whole, revealing a remarkable influence on history—and one in which Black women are not seen as other.” Foremothers is slated for 2024. Biakolo, who won a 2021 Lipman Fellowship from Columbia University, is currently a freelance writer.

Penguin Applauds Ackerman’s ‘Fifth Act’

For Penguin Press, Scott Moyers bought North American rights to Elliott Ackerman’s The Fifth Act: America’s End in Afghanistan. Ackerman (2034) was represented by PJ Mark at Janklow & Nesbit Associates. The publisher said the book offers “a searing ground-level reckoning with America’s ignominious endgame in Afghanistan, tracing the long arc of failure across four succeeding acts from 2001 on, culminating in the dark final act that is now playing out.” Ackerman writes both fiction and nonfiction and has been nominated for a National Book Award and three Carnegie Medals. He’s also a former White House fellow and a marine who served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan (for which he was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart). The Fifth Act is set for spring 2022.

Clark’s ‘Sisters’ Join Random House

Alexis Clark (Enemies in Love) sold a history of the country’s four Black sororities, Sisters, to Jamia Wilson and David Ebershoff at Random House. Subtitled The Untold Story of America’s Black Sororities and Their Fight for Racial and Gender Equality, the book, RH said, details “the groundbreaking women who founded [the sororities] a little over a century ago and those who followed in their footsteps”—from Zora Neale Hurston to Vice President Kamala Harris. It also describes the “outsize influence the sororities have had on transforming America and beyond.” Howard Yoon at Ross Yoon handled the world rights agreement, and Wilson and Ebershoff will co-edit the book.