Grand Central Lands Murdoch Bio
Veteran journalist Claire Atkinson sold North American rights to Murdoch: The Life and Business of This Century’s Media Master to Grand Central executive editor Karyn Marcus at auction. The deal was brokered by Bridget Matzie at Aevitas Creative Management. Grand Central calls the book a “nuanced portrait” of Rupert Murdoch the conservative media mogul, who recently announced that he is stepping down from his role as chairman of Fox and News Corp. It will explore “the enduring impact Murdoch has had on the world of politics and communications” and shed light on his “complicated” relationships. Atkinson once worked for the Murdoch-owned New York Post. Murdoch is slated to be published in 2025.
Rossi’s ‘Birdie’ Sings at Mira
In a preempt, Leah Mol at Mira acquired world rights to Amy Rossi’s debut novel, The Making of Birdie Rhodes. The deal was negotiated by Penelope Burns at Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents. Mira says the book, which is due out in March 2025, follows an aging model as she reckons with the manipulation she suffered at the hands of “the two people she trusted most: her legendary former agent, and the older rock star who made himself both her boyfriend and her guardian when she was a teen.”
Saga Ventures into the ‘Voidverse’
In a preempt, Tim O’Connell at Simon & Schuster’s Saga Press acquired world English rights to Damien Ober’s sci-fi/fantasy epic Voidverse. The deal, which is generating buzz ahead of the upcoming Frankfurt Book Fair, was handled by Peter Steinberg and Brandi Bowles at UTA, with Melissa Chinchillo handling foreign rights and Emma Jamison at Curtis Brown handling translation. Saga says the book evokes blockbuster hits like Dune, Game of Thrones, and Rendezvous with Rama. Ober was a writer for the Netflix series The OA and Syfy’s Dominion. The book is set for a spring 2025 publication.
Knopf Takes Dimitrov’s ‘Ecstasy’
In a preempt, Deb Garrison at Knopf won North American rights to Ecstasy, the latest collection of poems by Alex Dimitrov. The deal was handled by Marya Spence at Janklow & Nesbit Associates. This is the fourth collection from Dimitrov, a recipient of the American Poetry Review’s Stanley Kunitz Prize. Knopf describes him as a “friend-out-of-time to Frank O’Hara,” and the book is slated for publication in spring 2025.
Riverhead Extends Krasikov’s ‘Shelf Life’
Riverhead editor-in-chief Sarah McGrath secured North American rights to The Shelf Life of Evelyn Shine by Sana Krasikov (The Patriots). The deal was handled by Claudia Ballard at WME. Riverhead said the novel is a story of “early feminism, creative awakening, and personal responsibility” that follows “a beloved children’s book author as she confronts the ghosts of her past and challenges the limits of free expression in America.” A publication date has yet to be announced, but the book is expected to be released in 2024.
Wheeler’s ‘Gambit’ Pays Off at Viking
Laura Tisdel at Viking acquired North American rights to Claire Anderson Wheeler’s debut novel, The Gatsby Gambit, at auction. The deal was brokered by Gráinne Fox at UTA, who described the book as “a clever, atmospheric mystery in the vein of The Christie Affair and Gosford Park,” adding that it features Jay Gatsby’s sleuthing younger sister, “the plucky and irresistible Greta,” as she gets caught up in a Jazz Age murder mystery. The book is set for fall 2024.