Orange Wanders to Knopf
In a U.S. rights acquisition, Jordan Pavlin at Knopf bought Tommy Orange’s Wandering Stars. The March 2024–slated novel, sold by Nicole Aragi at Aragi, Inc., is the follow-up to the author’s bestselling Pulitzer Prize–nominated 2018 debut, There There. Wandering Stars traces, Knopf said, “the legacies of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School through to the shattering aftermath of Orvil Redfeather’s shooting depicted in There There.” Reagan Arthur, Knopf executive v-p and publisher, added that the novel, which is getting an announced first printing of 200,000 copies, is a story about “history, legacy, and family.” Orange is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.
White Does Double at Park Row
For Park Row Books, Erika Imranyi took North American rights to two standalone novels by Karen White in a six-figure agreement. White, who was represented by Writers House’s Amy Berkower, is the bestselling author of more than 30 titles, including the Tradd Street series. The first book under contract, which is currently untitled and scheduled for summer 2025, is set in the South Carolina Lowcountry and follows a woman who can see the future after being struck by lightning as a child. She’s “plagued by mysterious visions of a tragic accident throughout her life,” Park Row said, until “the truth finally comes to light when she returns home to care for her estranged mother.”
Amistad Explores Kingori’s ‘Otherhood’
Chief business officer of Condé Nast Britain Vanessa Kingori sold North American rights to The Otherhood. Abby West, v-p and editorial director at Amistad, acquired the spring 2024–set nonfiction title from Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown. Focusing on outsiders who’ve found success, the book, Amistad said, is built around the titular word, which refers to anyone “placed outside of mainstream institutions, culture, or norms,” who has “been othered by race, religion, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, and more”—and examines how this designation can be a strength. Elaborating, Amistad said the The Otherhood examines the careers of such visionaries as Rihanna and Tim Cook to show readers how to “create true, sustained, and seismic change the world needs.”
Sandeen Sells Debut to Berkley
Berkley’s Open Submission program, which launched in 2021 and encourages authors without agents to submit manuscripts featuring diverse characters and stories, has yielded its first official acquisition. The Penguin Random House imprint’s executive editor, Anne Sowards, bought world rights to This Cursed House by Del Sandeen. The New Orleans–set horror novel, which takes place in 1962 and which Berkley described as Mexican Gothic meets The Vanishing Half, follows a Black family (with members light-skinned enough to pass as white) who hire a young Black woman as a tutor. The tutor, who can see ghosts, soon learns “she was actually hired to break a curse that plagues the enigmatic family,” the publisher said. Sandeen, a writer and copy editor living in Florida, secured an agent after Berkley expressed interest in her novel. Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret represented her in the agreement, and This Cursed House is set for 2024.
Bantam Gets Fatal with Pliego
The debut novel by Ande Pliego, You Are Fatally Invited, was acquired by Bantam’s Jenny Chen in a two-book preempt. Chen took North American rights to the murder mystery from Hannah Schofield at Luigi Bonomi Associates. Bantam said the novel follows a murder mystery party gone awry. Set on a successful thriller author’s private estate, the action begins when “a guest is found murdered for real, and the event planner who has her own agenda must outwit a killer who knows literally every trick in the book.” At press time, rights to the novel had also sold to houses in Germany, Italy, and the U.K.