Europa Brings Iranian Exile’s Epic Home
Europa Editions editor-in-chief Michael Reynolds has acquired world rights to Iranian novelist Shokoofeh Azar’s highly anticipated new novel The Gowkaran Tree in the Middle of Our Kitchen. Azar’s 2020 Europa debut, The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree, was a finalist for the International Booker Prize and the National Book Award for Translated Literature. A former newspaper reporter in Iran, Azar has lived in exile in Australia since 2011. Europa said Gowkaran Tree is a “magical realist story” that spans five decades in Iran, from the 1979 Islamic Revolution to the 2022 Jina Revolution. The deal was handled by Victoria Chylek at Authors Legal. The book is set for a fall 2024 publication.
New Housemaid Goes to Poisoned Pen
Jenna Jankowski at Sourcebooks has acquired world English print rights to Frieda McFadden’s The Housemaid Is Watching for the company’s Poisoned Pen Press imprint. The new installment in McFadden’s bestselling Housemaid series will follow “housemaid” Millie, this time as she moves to a peaceful suburb with her family in an attempt to leave her dark past behind. “But danger lurks in this seemingly perfect neighborhood,” Poisoned Pen said. Christina Hogrebe at the Jane Rotrosen Agency brokered the agreement (with digital and audio rights going to Ellen Gleeson at Bookouture).
Putnam Signs Stapley’s Nom de Plume
Putnam executive editor Tara Singh Carlson has acquired world rights to The Holiday Honeymoon Switch by bestselling author Marissa Stapley, writing under the new pseudonym Julia McKay. The two-book deal was handled by Samantha Haywood at Transatlantic Agency. Stapley’s 2021 novel, Lucky (published under her name), was a Reese’s Book Club pick. Putnam said The Holiday Honeymoon Switch tells the tale of two best friends. After one is left at the altar on her wedding day, she trades her upcoming Hawaiian honeymoon for the other’s Christmas cabin getaway, and “both find love they weren’t expecting.” The book is slated for fall 2024.
Harper Wins Kistler’s ‘Shell Games’
Sara Nelson at Harper acquired North American rights to Bonnie Kistler’s latest psychological thriller, Shell Games. Kistler was represented by Jennifer Weltz at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. Harper described the book as “a tense psychological thriller” that follows a billionaire property developer whose new husband confesses to an infamous unsolved crime on their wedding night—then claims the next day it was all in her imagination. Publication is set for July 2024.
Kaminski’s ‘Outsiders’ Fit In at LB Spark
In an exclusive submission, editorial director Talia Krohn at Little, Brown Spark acquired world rights to psychiatrist Rami Kaminski’s The Power of Outsiders: How to Thrive on the Margins of a World Obsessed with Belonging. The deal was handled by Beth Davey at Davey Literary & Media. Kaminski’s book explains why those considered “outsiders” are often misunderstood, Davey said, and aims to reveal “all the ways outsiders contribute to the world.” The book is set for a January 2025 publication.
NPR Host Tells Family Story to Flatiron
Lee Oglesby at Flatiron Books acquired world rights to journalist, NPR host, and bestselling author Celeste Headlee’s Freedom’s Daughters at auction. The book, Flatiron said, tells the story of Headlee’s great-grandmother Carrie Still Shepperson and “the post–Civil War generation of Black women who championed literacy and education as the foundations of freedom.” The deal was negotiated by Heather Jackson at her eponymous agency. Publication is planned for spring 2026.