DEAL OF THE WEEK
Flournoy Gets Seven Figures at Mariner
For seven figures, Angela Flournoy sold The Wounded Wilderness to Mariner’s Rakia Clark in a two-book, North American rights deal. Ellen Levine at Trident Media Group represented Flournoy (The Turner House), a National Book Award finalist and contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. Mariner said Wounded Wilderness, a novel, follows four Black women over the course of 20 years of friendship, examining “how gender expectations, race, class and the shifting dynamics of city life” affect them. The second book in the deal, the memoir When Will I See You Again?, is about the author’s first pregnancy, which coincided with her mother being diagnosed with a terminal illness.
St. Martin’s Lands Merkel Memoir
St. Martin’s Press acquired a currently untitled memoir by former German chancellor Angela Merkel. The book will be written with Merkel’s political adviser Beate Baumann and is set to be released simultaneously in Germany (by Kiepenheuer & Witsch, which has world rights to the book), the U.S., and the U.K. in fall 2024. SMP said the book will offer “exclusive, personal insight into the political life and work of the former German chancellor.” There was no agent involved in the deal.
Hamrick Gets into ‘Position’ for Berkley
Former American Ballet Theatre ballerina Melanie Hamrick sold her debut novel, First Position, to Cindy Hwang at Berkley. Set for summer 2023, the book is, Berkley said, an examination of the “insular, seductive, and cutthroat world of dance” about a young ballerina who “begins to unravel as her star rises.” Annelise Robey at the Jane Rotrosen Agency represented Hamrick in the two-book, U.S., Canadian, and open market rights agreement.
Beach Takes ‘Drama’ to Hanover
Hanover Square Press’s John Glynn bought North American rights to Adult Drama: And Other Essays by Natalie Beach, author of a 2019 piece for the Cut about her friendship with influencer Caroline Calloway that went viral. The book, sold by Mollie Glick and Cait Hoyt at CAA, was pitched as in the vein of Jia Tolentino and Melissa Broder, and will, Hanover said, “offer a fresh, relatable, and piercingly honest take on contemporary life.” Beach, who lives in Los Angeles, will examine “heartbreak, the gig economy, and the commodification of the self, among other wide-ranging subjects.” Adult Drama will feature new essays and an expanded version of the piece on Calloway.
Ballantine Goes ‘Golden’ for Benjamin
Melanie Benjamin (The Aviator’s Wife) sold world rights to California Golden to Susanna Porter at Ballantine Books, her standing editor. The novel is slated for 2023 and was sold by Alexandra Machinist at CAA. The publisher said it follows a pair of mother-daughter surfers “on the state’s dazzling beaches during the vibrant counterculture of the early 1960s, when society was shifting as tempestuously as the breaking waves.”
Kelly Releases Her ‘Doves’ at Ballantine
For Ballantine Books, Kara Cesare bought North American rights to two titles by Martha Hall Kelly. Kelly, author of the 2016 bestseller Lilac Girls, was represented by Alexandra Machinist at CAA. Ballantine said the first book under contract is The Golden Doves, about two female British spies who meet during WWII and “reunite to hunt down an infamous Nazi doctor who escaped after unspeakable crimes at the Ravensbruck concentration camp.” The second book is “about a widow who falls in love with an elite British officer sent to Martha’s Vineyard to help train American soldiers for the invasion at Normandy.”