DEAL OF THE WEEK
McCarthy Does Double at Knopf
Knopf acquired U.S. rights to two new novels by Cormac McCarthy. The Passenger is set for October 25 and Stella Maris for November 22. The books will also be published together as a boxed set on December 6. Set eight years apart, The Passenger and Stella Maris tell “one grand story of siblings Bobby and Alicia Western,” Knopf said. The late Sonny Mehta bought the titles from Amanda Urban at ICM Partners; Jenny Jackson will edit them. Knopf said the individual books each have an announced first printing of 300,000 copies, with the boxed set going to press for an announced 50,000 copies.
Smith’s ‘Days’ Pass at Random House
Rock star and National Book Award–winning author Patti Smith sold A Book of Days to Robin Desser at Random House. The North American rights agreement was handled by Betsy Lerner at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency. A Book of Days, set for November, is based on Smith’s popular Instagram account—it has more than one million followers—and, Random House said, is “a deeply generous and inspirational map of an artist’s life.”
Dylan Plays His ‘Song’ for S&S
Jonathan Karp and Sean Manning at Simon & Schuster took world English rights to The Philosophy of Modern Song by Bob Dylan. It’s Dylan’s first new book since his 1994 bestseller Chronicles, Vol. 1; it will also be his first book since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. S&S described The Philosophy of Modern Song, which is slated for November, as an essay collection that “offers a master class on the art and craft of songwriting.” Andrew Wylie at the Wylie Agency represented Dylan in the agreement.
St. Martin’s Welcomes Fairbanks
Macmillan’s Sally Richardson and Charles Spicer bought Amanda M. Fairbanks’s The Last Aristocrats for St. Martin’s Press. Fairbanks (The Lost Boys of Montauk) was represented by Laura Dail at the Laura Dail Literary Agency. The book is subtitled The Secret History of the Gardiner Dynasty and is set for summer 2024. It will examine Gardiner’s Island, which is off the coast of Long Island and is part of the town of East Hampton. Elaborating, Dail said the title will “explore the island’s extraordinary history, and its centuries of eccentricity, exclusivity, and secrecy particular to the super rich.”
FSG Re-ups Ross
In a two-book, North American rights deal, Eric Chinski at Farrar, Straus and Giroux bought Alex Ross’s New Under the Sun and Sound Alone from Tina Bennett at Bennett Literary. Ross is the music critic for the New Yorker and his previous books include the bestseller The Rest Is Noise. New Under the Sun is set for 2025. FSG called it “a rich, surprising narrative history of the German-speaking émigrés who settled in Los Angeles from the 1920s to the 1950s, helping to launch modernist waves in architecture, film, music, and literature.” Sound Alone, slated for 2028, is “a concise and eclectic history of classical music told through 10 forms, including chant, mass, opera, the symphony, and contemporary soundscapes.”
Del Rey Nabs Skye’s ‘Loves’
For Del Rey, Ann Groell preempted world English rights to Evelyn Skye’s adult debut novel, The Hundred Loves of Juliet, in a two-book deal. Skye (The Crown’s Game) was represented by Thao Le at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. The Hundred Loves of Juliet is slated for spring 2023 and follows, Del Rey said, “a woman fleeing a failed marriage, who arrives in rural Alaska and discovers she is the other half of an epic love story spanning lives, years, and continents.” The second book under contract is a standalone novel titled Whimsy