DEAL OF THE WEEK
Shearer’s ‘River’ Flows to Berkley
Berkley’s Kate Seaver preempted North American rights to River Sing Me Home, the debut novel by Eleanor Shearer, for a reported six figures. Comparing it to Homegoing and The Vanishing Half, Berkley said the book follows “a mother’s journey across the Caribbean to find her stolen children in the aftermath of slavery.” Shearer works as a researcher at the Institute for Government think tank in London and is the granddaughter of Caribbean immigrants, as well as the goddaughter of British bestseller Jeanette Winterson. She is represented by Laurie Robertson at Peters Fraser + Dunlop. Rebecca Folland, rights director at the U.K.’s Headline Publishing Group, handled the sale to Berkley. River Sing Me Home is slated for spring 2023.
St. Martin’s Nabs ‘One That Got Away’
In a six-figure preempt, Sarah Cantin at St. Martin’s Press acquired The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon. The publisher said the novel is about “a first love with life-changing consequences—and the explosive incident, 20 years later, that sheds new light on events of the past,” adding that the book should appeal to readers of Jodi Picoult and Jill Santopolo. Sarah Levitt at Aevitas Creative Management handled the North American rights agreement on behalf of Caroline Hardman at Hardman & Swainson, a London literary agency.
SJP Lit Enters Chang’s ‘Paradise’
For six figures, Erin Wicks at SJP Lit preempted Elysha Chang’s debut novel, A Quitter’s Paradise. The book is the first acquisition for Sarah Jessica Parker’s imprint at Zando and is about, the publisher said, a young woman dealing with the death of her mother, “whose story becomes intertwined with those of her family, charting decades of their movements from the military villages of Taipei to the cloistered suburbs of New Jersey.” William Morris Endeavor’s Claudia Ballard represented the author, who is a creative writing lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and has an MFA from Columbia. A Quitter’s Paradise is set for summer 2023.
Atria Dips Maxwell’s ‘Spoon’
Jessa Maxwell sold The Golden Spoon to Atria’s Lindsay Sagnette in a two-book, North American rights deals (which excludes the European open market). Atria said the novel is a murder mystery set at a Vermont estate during the filming of a new season of “America’s hit TV baking show,” and that all the characters “are suspect.” In addition to a number of foreign rights sales, TV rights to the book have been optioned by Hulu, with Aline Brosh McKenna (Crazy Ex-girlfriend) attached as writer/producer. Alexandra Machinist at ICM Partners represented Maxwell.
Bold Type Takes In Martin’s ‘Orphan’
American Orphan by Kristen Martin was acquired, at auction, by Hillary Brenhouse at Bold Type Books. In the narrative nonfiction work, Martin, a cultural critic, combines memoir and social history, deconstructing “America’s obsession with fictional orphan stories,” according to the publisher. The book examines “the gap between these myths and the lived experiences of dependent children from the 1800s to the present day.” Jamie Carr at the Book Group handled the North American rights agreement for Martin.
Random House Buys Donner’s ‘Scholl’
NBCC winner Rebecca Donner sold I Am Sophie Scholl, at auction, to Random House’s Marie Pantojan in a North American rights deal. The publisher said the nonfiction work “tells the inspiring story of the legendary German resistance member who was executed for treason at just 21 years old, and her anti-Nazi group the White Rose.” Bill Clegg, who has an eponymous shingle, represented Donner.