DEAL OF THE WEEK
Convergent Enters Morgan’s ‘World’
Comedian Leanne Morgan sold her debut book at auction to Convergent. Becky Nesbitt took world rights to What in the World? from Albert Lee at UTA and Stephen Walker and Judi Marmel at Levity Talent. The publisher said the spring 2024–slated title is “an extension of the darling Southern tell-all spirit Morgan has gone viral for—speaking honestly about everything from being a housewife and sharing Jell-O recipes to having a new grandbaby and the comfort of wearing big old grannie panties.” Morgan has been in comedy for more than two decades, and the Netflix comedy special Leanne Morgan: I’m Every Woman will debut in April.
Penzler Goes ‘Underground’ with Klavan
In a six-figure, world rights agreement, Otto Penzler at Mysterious Press preempted Andrew Klavan’s A Woman Underground. The thriller by the two-time Edgar Award winner was sold by Mark Gottlieb and Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group. Mark Gottlieb said the novel, set for either fall or winter 2024, follows a missing persons case in which “a killer leaves a trail of blood in his wake, forcing an ex-spy out of his past to uncover the true story behind his former lover’s lost novel and reach her before the killer does.”
Puyana Finds ‘Freedom’ at Little, Brown
Ben George at Little, Brown bought world English rights to Alejandro Puyana’s Freedom Is a Feast. George said the debut novel, sold by Emily Forland at Brandt & Hochman, is a “multigenerational Latin American saga of love and revolution, set in Venezuela from 1964 to 2013.” It follows a revolutionary who “abandons his family for the cause in his youth and is offered a late-life chance at redemption.” George compared the novel, which is scheduled for summer 2024, to Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits and Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Feast of the Goat. Puyana, who grew up in Venezuela, has an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Crown Crosses Cadava’s ‘Bridges’
North American rights to A Thousand Bridges, by Northwestern University professor Geraldo Cadava (The Hispanic Republican), were acquired by Crown’s Kevin Doughton at auction. Adam Eaglin and Isabel Mendía at the Cheney Agency represented Cadava in the deal. Crown said the book is a history of the U.S. from 1492 to the present day that is “framed through the lens of the Latinos and Latin Americans” who have “long been misunderstood as a monolith.” No pub date has been announced for the title.
Perennial Walks Verona’s ‘Street’
For Harper Perennial, David Howe took North American rights at auction to Emily Ruth Verona’s debut novel Midnight on Beacon Street. The Bram Stoker Award nominee was represented by Jennifer Weltz at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. The publisher said the thriller, which is slated for winter 2024, follows a horror-movie-obsessed babysitter who “must overcome her own anxiety while protecting two precocious yet complicated kids.” Harper added that the book is “told backward and forward simultaneously.”
Smith Unleashes ‘Brat’ on Penguin
Kiara Barrow at Penguin Press bought North American rights to Gabriel Smith’s debut novel, Brat, in a two-book deal. Smith was represented by Wylie Agency’s Kristi Murray and Jackie Ko. Penguin called the novel, which is expanded from a short story published in The Drift in 2021, as a “darkly comic” tale exploring “grief, family, home, and the process of metabolizing experience and inheritance through writing.” No pub date has been announced for Brat.