Morrow Lands Okorafor
In a seven-figure deal, William Morrow’s Julia Elliott bought North American rights to Nnedi Okorafor’s novel The Africanfuturist. Okorafor is a bestselling science fiction/fantasy author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, and her 2010 novel Who Fears Death is currently in series development at HBO. She was represented by Angeline Rodriguez and Eric Simonoff at William Morris Endeavor. The Africanfuturist, which Morrow compared to Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, is about a disabled Nigerian American woman who writes a science fiction novel that brings her success at a steep personal cost. The publisher added that the work is “a multi-threaded meta drama examining the relationship between a story and its teller, the labyrinth of African diasporic identity, family, and what makes us human.” The Africanfuturist is scheduled for winter 2025.
Greenwood’s ‘Afterlife’ Haunts Berkley
Berkley’s Jen Monroe took North American rights at auction to Kirsty Greenwood’s The Love of My Afterlife. The rom-com was sold in a two-book, seven-figure agreement by Hannah Todd at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. The publisher said the novel was pitched as “Emily Henry meets The Good Place” and follows a woman who, having recently died, meets the man she thinks is the love of her life in the afterlife’s waiting room. Then she learns she can score “a second chance at life—and love—if she can find her Mr. Right back on Earth and get him to kiss her within 10 days.” Greenwood is British and has never been published in the U.S.; she self-published her previous book, Big Sexy Love, in the U.K. The Love of My Afterlife, which has been sold in 14 other territories to date, is slated for summer 2024.
Kiser’s Memoir ‘Wanted’ by Sourcebooks
Debut author Stephanie Kiser sold world English rights to Wanted: Toddler’s Personal Assistant to Anna Michels at Sourcebooks’ Poisoned Pen Press imprint. The deal was brokered by Jen Nadol at the Unter Agency, and the memoir is set to be released in summer 2024. The publisher said Wanted was pitched as The Nanny Diaries meets Educated and is about the seven years the author spent working as a nanny for the New York City elite while she tried to pay off her student loans. Kiser “recounts her own childhood as one of four children born to teenaged parents” and provides “social commentary on motherhood and the role of women, white and inherited privilege, blue vs. red politics, reproductive rights, healthcare, student loans, and what success really means in our society.”
Crown Hires Heinrichs’s ‘Boss’
Crown’s Matt Inman bought North American rights to The Boss of You by Jay Heinrichs. Brian DeFiore at DeFiore & Company sold the book, which, Crown said, “shows readers how to use centuries-honored techniques of language and persuasion to motivate themselves to make wanted changes in their lives.” The Boss of You does not yet have a firm pub date. Heinrichs is the author of, among other titles, the 2007 bestseller Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion.
Union Square Digs into Kim Chi
Kim Chi, a Korean American drag queen and former contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, sold world rights to Kim Chi Eats to Union Square & Co. Amanda Englander and Juliana Nador preempted the cookbook for six figures from David Purse at Inked Entertainment. The publisher said the title, scheduled for spring 2025, was pitched as “Somebody Feed Phil meets Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” Kim Chi Eats is full of “culinary stories from the author’s life traveling the world as an internationally renowned drag queen and obsessed foodie, alongside recipes of their favorite dishes they’ve loved along the way.”
This article has been updated for clarity and with further information.