DeSantis’s ‘Blueprint’ Goes to Broadside

Eric Nelson at Broadside Books bought Ron DeSantis’s The Courage to Be Free. The book, subtitled Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival, is set for February 2023 and, the HarperCollins imprint said, details the “most consequential decisions” of the Florida governor’s life and public service, “including turning the Sunshine State into the promised land for millions of Americans.” The Courage to Be Free features DeSantis’s thoughts on “fighting back against Covid mandates and restrictions, critical race theory, woke corporations, and the partisan legacy media.” The memoir also explores his background “growing up in a working-class family, playing in the Little League World Series, working his way through Yale University and Harvard Law School, volunteering for the Navy after 9/11, and serving in Iraq.”

Chang Does a Triple at Del Rey

Del Rey’s Anne Groell preempted world English rights, for six figures, to Molly X. Chang’s To Gaze upon Wicked Gods and two other books in a planned trilogy. The agreement was brokered by Kari Sutherland at
KT Literary. To Gaze upon Wicked Gods, Sutherland explained, is set in a Chinese fantasy world that has been colonized by “a scientifically advanced Roman Empire.” Its heroine is “a young woman blessed with the power of Death,” who “fights to survive while protecting those she loves.” Then “her magic is discovered by an enemy prince,” and “she must decide if saving her family is worth betraying her country.” The novel is set for release in 2024.

Berkley Nabs Murray’s Historical

Kate Seaver at Berkley took world English rights to Victoria Christopher Murray’s currently untitled novel set during the Harlem Renaissance. Murray, coauthor of the bestseller The Personal Librarian (also published by Berkley), was represented by Liza Dawson at Liza Dawson Associates. The new novel focuses on Jessie Redmon Fauset, who, per the publisher, was “a charismatic and successful novelist and editor who wrote about the Black middle class, discovered Langston Hughes, had a tumultuous relationship with W.E.B. Du Bois, and played a major role in launching the careers of many outstanding Black authors who rose to prominence during the Harlem Renaissance.” The book is slated for publication in early 2025.

Adams Lifts Lid on ‘Black Bookstore’

NBC News reporter Char Adams sold world rights to Black-Owned: The Revolutionary Life of the Black Bookstore to Emi Ikkanda at Tiny Reparations Books. The Penguin imprint said the book, slated for spring 2025, is “a deeply compelling and rigorously reported history of the Black-owned bookstore and its role in Black resistance throughout American history.” Comparing it to Hidden Figures and The Warmth of Other Suns, the publisher added that it is “as much about the present as it is the past,” detailing how these bookstores “have catalyzed activist efforts from abolition to civil rights to Black Lives Matter.” Adams was represented in the deal by Justin Brouckaert at Aevitas Creative Management.

Van den Berg’s ‘Florida’ Washes Up at FSG

World rights to Florida Diary, by Guggenheim fellow Laura van den Berg (I Hold a Wolf by the Ears), were acquired by Jackson Howard at Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The publisher described the novel as a “work of speculative autofiction” about “a ghost writer who relocates to her hometown in Florida during a pandemic and is slowly pulled into states of increasing uncanniness.” The deal, brokered by Katherine Fausset at Curtis Brown, also includes a literary crime novel, Ring of Night, “about a young female boxer whose life is forever changed when her sister is murdered in an abandoned house.” The latter is set for winter 2026, while Florida Diary is scheduled for spring 2024.