Rucci Weathers Chan’s ‘Storm’

After an 11-way auction, Marysue Rucci took North American rights to Vanessa Chan’s debut novel, The Storm We Made, for her eponymous imprint at Scribner. Michelle Brower and Stephanie Delman at Trellis Literary Management represented the author in the two-book deal. The publisher said The Storm We Made is set in British Malaya (a group of colonies in Southeast Asia) and begins in the 1930s, following “a discontented housewife” who “becomes an unlikely spy for the invading forces of Japan.” It then jumps to WWII, “when the shocking repercussions rain upon her community and family.” The second title under contract, the story collection The Ugliest Babies in the World, is about “feral girls in postcolonial Malaysia trying to solve the mysteries of their bloodlines.” Trellis reported that the books have sold in 14 foreign auctions so far. No firm pub dates have been set in the U.S.

Tate Makes Avid Reader Her ‘B.F.F.’

Christie Tate sold B.F.F., a memoir about female friendship, to Lauren Wein at Avid Reader Press. Amy Williams represented the author in the world rights agreement, and the book is slated for spring 2023. The publisher said it examines how a new friendship exposes the author to “the darkest corners of her intimacy issues,” adding that she “uncovers a lifetime of jealousy, competition, insecurity, and ghosting in female friendships, which, as it turns out, require just as much attention, care, and healing as her relationships with men.” Tate’s bestselling 2020 memoir Group (also published by Avid Reader) was a Reese’s Book Club selection and an Indie Next Pick.

Birx Breaks ‘Silence’ for Harper

Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator under former president Trump, sold world rights to Silent Invasion to Harper. The book, subtitled The Untold Story of the Trump Administration, Covid-19, and Preventing the Next Pandemic Before It’s Too Late, was bought by Lisa Sharkey, with Matt Harper editing, and is set for April. The publisher said it offers an “inside account” of the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, adding that it “goes beyond the media speculation and political maneuvering to show what Birx was really up against in the Trump White House.” Attorney Jeff Carneal represented Birx in the deal.

Avery Goes ‘Ape’ with Webb

In a six-figure deal, Caroline Sutton at Avery bought North American rights to Christine Webb’s The Arrogant Ape from Michelle Tessler at the Tessler Agency. The debut title, tentatively set for 2024, is, the publisher said, “an investigation into human exceptionalism” and “how it is failing us.” Webb examines how humans’ belief in being the most advanced species on the planet “has prompted war, polarization, climate destruction, Covid-19, etc.” However, the book posits that “with a little compassion, we should be able to find a better balance between ourselves and nature.” Webb is a fellow at Harvard’s department of human evolutionary biology.

Grand Central Gets Next Scarpetta

For Grand Central Publishing, Ben Sevier bought world rights to Patricia Cornwell’s Livid, the 26th entry in her Kay Scarpetta series. The deal was struck jointly with Little Brown UK and was brokered by Moia Tamber Gruber at Cornwell Entertainment. Livid, which finds Scarpetta investigating the death of a beauty queen, will be edited in the U.S. by GCP editorial director Karen Kosztolnyik and is slated for October.

Tan’s Bird ‘Chronicles’ Flies to Knopf

Daniel Halpern at Knopf bought U.S. rights to The Backyard Bird Chronicles by Amy Tan from Sandra Dijkstra at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. The nonfiction book is based on the bestselling author’s nature journal in which, the agency said, Tan “records—with a novelist’s eye—the birds and other creatures in her own backyard, as well as personal reflections and original color illustrations.” The Backyard Chronicles is set for October 2023.

Anderson and Hill Sign with Ten Speed

For Ten Speed Press, Kaitlin Ketchum bought world English rights to Historically Black Phrases by jarrett hill and Tre’vell Anderson for six figures after a seven-house auction. The publisher said the book examines and celebrates “the colloquialisms distinct to the Black community.” The authors cohost the podcast FANTI and were represented in the deal by Patrice Caldwell and Stephanie Kim at New Leaf Literary & Media, who added that the book is “the ultimate love letter to Black language and people.”

Zgheib’s ‘Light’ Shines on Atria

No Land to Light On by Yara Zgheib (The Girls at 17 Swann Street) was acquired by Daniella Wexler at Atria Books in a six-figure preempt. The world rights deal was brokered by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. The publisher said the novel follows “a young Syrian refugee couple in the throes of new love, who dream of building a future in the country that brought them together,” until a travel ban “jolts them apart.”

Penguin Signs McBride Poetry Debut

For Penguin, Allie Merola acquired world rights to Amber McBride’s debut poetry collection, Thick with Trouble. The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature finalist was represented by Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency. The collection, Penguin said, investigates “what it means to be a Black woman in the American South” and is “an homage to the complexity and intersections of being a Black woman outside of the male gaze.”

Rubin Sells Memoir to Applause

Stephen Rubin, a consulting publisher at Simon & Schuster, sold U.S. and Canadian rights to Words and Music: Confessions of an Optimist to John Cerullo at Applause Books. Rubin said the memoir, set for January 2023, will go behind the scenes of the publishing industry—the author has helmed Doubleday and Henry Holt—and offer “frank observations” about how it’s changed over the past 30 years. It will also include stories about authors like Dan Brown and Michael Wolff. Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander represented Rubin in the deal.

Correction: An earlier version of this story cited the wrong title of Amy Tan's forthcoming book; it's The Backyard Bird Chronicles, not The Backyard Chronicles.