RH Picks Up Rushdie’s Magic Return

Random House publisher Andy Ward took U.S. rights to Salman Rushdie’s latest novel, Victory City, which will be published in February 2023. The story, the publisher said, follows a magically empowered nine-year-old girl in 14th-century southern India who, in the wake of an unimportant battle between two long-forgotten kingdoms, is tasked with creating a new empire in which women are given as much power as men. Andrew Wylie at the Wylie Agency represented Rushdie in the deal.

RH Acquires Iger’s Leadership Book

Random House’s Andy Ward also bought an as-yet-untitled book from Bob Iger, former CEO of the Walt Disney Co. The publisher said that in the book, Iger will discuss how to be an effective leader in times of crisis and disruption, and offer a behind-the-scenes look at how leaders at Disney and other organizations rose to meet—or failed to meet—unprecedented challenges. Esther Newberg at ICM Partners represented Iger. Publication is tentatively scheduled for 2024.

Europa Snags U.K. Debut

Michael Reynolds, editor-in-chief of Europa Editions, has acquired U.S. rights to Mrs. S, by White Review Fiction Prize finalist K Patrick. The debut novel revolves around an elite English girls’ boarding school and the forbidden love between a butch housemother and the headmaster's wife. The deal was brokered by Alison Lewis at Frances Goldin Literary Agency. Reynolds compared Mrs. S to the work of Garth Greenwell and Patricia Highsmith. The book is set for June 2023.

Nelson Buys QVC Star’s Memoir

World rights to Kim Gravel’s Collecting Confidence: Start Where You Are to Become the Person You Were Meant to Be were bought, at auction, by Janet Talbert at Thomas Nelson. Gravel is a former Miss Georgia who starred in the Lifetime series Kim of Queens, has hosted a bevy of shows on QVC, and is the founder of two successful beauty brands. In the book, she promises to draw on the ups and downs of her life and her Southern roots to help readers “collect their confidence and remember who they really are when faced with trials and challenges.” The deal was brokered by Claudia Riemer Boutote of Red Raven Studio. Publication is set for April 2023

Pakistani Gangland Novel Goes to Polis

Chantelle Aimée Osman of Polis Books acquired U.S. rights to U.K. journalist Saima Mir’s debut novel, The Khan, in a deal brokered by Abi Fellows at the Good Literary Agency. The novel depicts systemic racism and Pakistani gangland violence in the north of England, and was a Sunday Times bestseller and Best Book of the Year, a Waterstones Best Crime & Thriller of the year, and won the inaugural Crimefest Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award. Polis plans to publish The Khan under its Agora imprint in summer 2023.

Norton Nabs Safina’s Bird Book

In a two-book, world rights deal, Alfie and Me by Carl Safina went to W.W. Norton, with v-p and editor-in-chief John Glusman acquiring the adult trade edition and Simon Boughton acquiring an illustrated children’s book adaptation. According to Norton, Safina, an ecologist and the bestselling author of Beyond Words and Becoming Wild, will recount the relationship he developed during the pandemic with a screech owl that he and his wife nursed back to health after finding it nearly dead. Jennifer Weltz at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency brokered the deal. Publication is set for fall 2023.