Knopf Wins Griner Memoir

Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who was arrested in Russia in February 2022 and held for 10 months, has signed with Knopf to write a memoir. Kimberly Witherspoon at InkWell Management, along with Jon Liebman at Brillstein Entertainment and Lindsay Kagawa Colas at Wasserman, sold world rights to Reagan Arthur, Knopf executive v-p and publisher. Jordan Pavlin, Knopf senior v-p and editor-in-chief, will edit the book, which will also have a cowriter. The heart of the memoir, Knopf said, will be Griner’s account of “the personal turmoil she experienced during the near-10-month ordeal and the resilience that carried her through to the day of her return to the United States.” The untitled memoir is slated for spring 2023, and a YA edition will be released later.

Amazon Buys Gerritsen’s Martini

Gracie Doyle at Amazon Publishing’s Thomas & Mercer imprint paid seven figures for North American rights to the first two books in bestselling author Tess Gerritsen’s The Martini Club series. In the first, titled The Spy Coast, “Maggie Bird, a retired CIA operative in small-town Maine, must tackle the ghosts of her past with the help of her local circle of old friends,” the publisher said. Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency brokered the deal for Gerritsen. The Spy Coast will be released in October.

Mariner Signs New O’Brien Novel

In an unagented deal, Tim O’Brien sold world rights to his first novel in two decades to Peter Hubbard at Mariner Books. The publisher described America Fantastica as “a brilliant and rollicking odyssey in which a bank robbery by a disgraced journalist sparks a cross-country pursuit through a nation corroded by shameless delusion and deceit.” O’Brien won a 1979 National Book Award for his novel Going After Cacciato, and his collection of linked short stories The Things They Carried has been a critical and commercial success since its release in 1990. America Fantastica is slated for October.

Berkley Goes ‘Wild’ for Neilson

Berkley executive editor Amanda Bergeron preempted North American rights to YA author Riss M. Neilson’s adult debut, Wild in the Sun, as well as a second, untitled novel for six figures. The author was represented by Jess Regel at Helm Literary. Bergeron described the novel as one that “follows lifelong best friends who spend one fateful summer exploring what might happen if they were to be something more.” Berkley plans to publish Wild in the Sun as a trade paperback original in summer 2024.

Random House Takes Cole’s ‘Tremor’

Teju Cole sold U.S. rights to his second novel, Tremor, to Caitlin McKenna at Random House. The publisher described the book as “a powerful, wide-ranging work of fiction that explores what constitutes a meaningful life in a violent world.” In addition to the novel Open City, Cole has written two essay collections and the experimental photobook Blind Spot. He is currently a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and a professor of creative writing at Harvard. He was represented by Andrew Wylie at the Wylie Agency.

Grau Sells ‘Life’ to Hay House

Anna Cooperberg of Hay House acquired world English rights, at auction, to Susan Grau’s Infinite Life, Infinite Lessons: Wisdom from the Spirit World on Living, Dying and the In-Between. In the work, Grau, an intuitive medium and Goop regular, recounts a near-death experience she had as a child and shares spiritual lessons about life, the afterlife, and coping with the loss of loved ones. Grau was represented by Linda Konner, who has an eponymous agency.