DEAL OF THE WEEK
‘Art Spy’ Heads to HarperOne
In a deal rumored to be in the high six figures, Peter Steinberg of Fletcher & Company sold North American rights to The Art Spy: The Untold Story of World War II Resistance Spy Rose Valland to Elizabeth Mitchell at HarperOne. The nonfiction work by Michelle Young, Steinberg said, examines the role of French Resistance member and art historian Rose Valland in tracking down looted artworks throughout Europe during WWII. She is credited with providing the information that stopped the last train of stolen art from leaving France just before the end of the war. Young is the founder of Untapped New York, a web magazine dedicated to the hidden history of New York City. She studied art history at Harvard and holds a master’s in urban planning from Columbia. No pub date has been set.
Coulter Sticks with Morrow
May Chen at William Morrow has acquired the next novel in Catherine Coulter’s series featuring FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock. Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group handled the seven-figure North American rights sale for what will be the 27th entry in the series. The most recent title, Reckoning, was published by Morrow on August 2. The new, currently untitled book has no pub date yet.
Applause Wins Papp’s ‘Public’
John Cerullo of Applause Theater and Cinema Books acquired world rights—with the exception of audio and performance rights—to Public/Private: My Life with Joe Papp at the Public Theater by Gail Merrifield Papp. Philip Turner and Ewan Turner of Philip Turner Book Productions were coagents on the deal. Papp worked in the theater world for most of her career, including the 16 years she was married to Public Theater founder Joe Papp, who died in 1991. Philip Turner described Public/Private as “a highly entertaining book” that blends “an affecting memoir” of Papp’s life alongside her husband with “a behind-the-scenes portrait of the influential theater’s dazzling history.” A fall 2023 publication is planned.
Astra House Gets ‘Happy’
Deborah Ghim, associate editor at Astra House, acquired world English rights to Happy, the debut novel by Berlin-based author and curator Celina Baljeet Basra, in a preempt. Basra graduated from the Free University of Berlin, where she studied art history, and her debut, the publisher said, “follows a charming young gourmand and cinephile, Happy Singh Soni, who leaves his rural village in Punjab with big dreams, only to find himself toiling in restaurant kitchens and farms across Southern Europe.” The deal was negotiated by Alexander Reubert at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and Astra plans to release Happy in fall 2024.
A Reimagined ‘Macbeth’ Goes to Del Rey
In a preempt, Tricia Narwani at Del Rey acquired North American rights to Lady Makbeth by Ava Reid (The Wolf and the Woodsman) as part of a two-book deal. Del Rey said the novel was pitched as “Circe meets Wolf Hall”—a “reimagining of Shakespeare’s play in which Lady Makbeth is given a voice, a past, and a power that transforms the story men have written for her.” Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic represented Reid. Lady Makbeth is set for publication in 2024.
‘Sharks’ Swim to Anchor
Anna Kaufman at Anchor Books acquired, at auction, world rights to Jasmin Graham’s Sharks Don’t Sink. Graham is a marine biologist and her story centers on how she cofounded Minorities in Shark Sciences, a nonprofit dedicated to providing support and opportunities for other young women of color in marine studies. Chad Luibl at Janklow & Nesbit Associates handled the sale.