DEAL OF THE WEEK
Scout Nabs Buzzy Swedish Novel
Scout Press’s Alison Callahan preempted North American rights to Swedish journalist Jens Liljestrand’s Even If Everything Ends. The Simon & Schuster imprint touted the novel as “the book of the Frankfurt Book Fair season,” and it has, to date, sold in 18 countries. Everything Ends, Scout said, puts the climate crisis in stark relief by chronicling “how the struggles of ordinary people go on even as the world as we know it is coming to an end.” The novel is Liljestrand’s English-language debut, but his biography of writer Vilhem Moberg was nominated for Sweden’s prestigious August Prize. Liljestrand was represented in the agreement by Astri von Arbin Ahlander at the Ahlander Agency.
Metcalfe Emerges from ‘Chrysalis’ at RH
In a preempt, Clio Seraphim at Random House bought U.S. rights to Chrysalis by Anna Metcalfe. RH said the debut novel—which has also sold in the U.K., Canada, and Germany—tells the story of “a young woman’s self-actualization through a strange physical metamorphosis,” from the perspectives of three people who know her at different stages of her life. Chrysalis tackles themes of “desire, loneliness, body image, cultural toxicity, and authenticity in the digital age.” Metcalfe, who was born in Germany and now lives in the U.K., was represented by Nicola Chang at David Higham Associates.
Qualls’s ‘Fros’ Finds a Home at HC
For mid-six figures, Alyson Day at HarperCollins won North American rights to Sean Qualls’s Fros, Waves, Fades & Braids, along with two other books, at auction. Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties represented Qualls. She said Fros, Waves, Fades & Braids, set for fall 2023, is “a tribute to the beauty and history of Black hair” and grew out of the author’s desire “to tell a rich and timely story about Black culture in America via one of its most quintessential qualities.”
Norton Listens to Semenya’s ‘Silence’
In a deal for U.S., Canadian, and open market rights, Norton bought Silence All the Noise by South African Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya. The memoir was acquired by Nneoma Amadi-obi from Peter McGuigan at Ultra Literary, on behalf of Semenya’s manager, Becky Motumo at Afrimogul. Semenya has been at the center of controversy in the world of elite athletics since being barred from competing in the Tokyo Olympics because of her high testosterone levels. Silence All the Noise, Norton said, covers “Caster’s childhood in rural South Africa, her running career, and her experience as an intersex woman in professional sports.”
Walters Sells Memoir to Simon
Nicole Walters, star of the USA Network show She’s the Boss, sold a currently untitled memoir to Simon Element. Leah Trouwborst took North American rights from Anthony Mattero at CAA. The book, the publisher said, “will tell readers how, despite being the child of immigrants, Walters learned to question the American Dream narrative” and “forged an alternative path to personal fulfillment based on emotional and financial independence.” The memoir is slated for 2023.
Duke Buys a Celebrated Scottish Novel
Elizabeth Ault at Duke University Press bought U.S. rights to Shola von Reinhold’s Lote. The novel, set for June 2022, has already been published in the U.K., where it won both the James Tait Black Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize. It follows, Duke said, a woman who is obsessed with the little-known Black Scottish poet Hermia Duitt and explores “aesthetics, beauty, and the ephemeral realm in which they exist.” Von Reinhold is from Glasgow and was represented by Odom Media Management.