S&S Lands Maher

Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp has acquired world rights to What This Comedian Said Will Shock You by Bill Maher. The book will be Maher’s first in more than a decade, and S&S said it’s based on years of closing monologues from his popular HBO (now Max) show Real Time with Bill Maher. The deal was struck by David Larabell at CAA. “Free speech, cops, drugs, race, religion, the generations, cancel culture, the parties, the media, show biz, romance, health—Maher covers all of it without pulling punches to please either side of the aisle,” S&S added. What This Comedian Said Will Shock You is set for June 2024.


Wallace Makes It ‘Matter’ for Portfolio

Niki Papadopoulos at Portfolio has acquired North American rights to Jennifer Wallace’s Mattering: Building a Life of Value at Home, Work, and in the Larger World. Portfolio said the book will introduce the emerging body of research around “mattering” and its “critical role in solving the crises of our time: loneliness, anxiety, depression, burnout, and disengagement.” Wallace’s 2023 debut, Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic, was a bestseller. The deal was negotiated by Christy Fletcher and Grianne Fox at UTA. No pub date has been set.

Grove Atlantic Nabs Nordic Bestseller

Peter Blackstock at Grove Atlantic has acquired world English rights to Norwegian writer and journalist Ingvild Rishøi’s international bestseller Brightly Shining. Grove said the short novel, set in Oslo in December, follows two sisters and their single father in “a poignant and surprising story about hardship, survival, and a window into a world often unilluminated by the shine of Christmas lights.” The deal was brokered by the Ahlander Agency.

Atria Books Sharma’s ‘Inn’

In a two-book deal, Melanie Iglesias Perez at Atria has acquired world rights to author and DEI advocate Nisha Sharma’s The Lotus Inn. The publisher described the novel as an “upmarket romantic suspense” story featuring “three sisters who are forced to return to their parents’ dilapidated inn in the Poconos after their father dies under mysterious circumstances.” The deal was handled by Joy Tutela at David Black Literary Agency. Sharma is also the author of the If Shakespeare Was an Auntie series. Publication is scheduled for spring 2025. No details were available for the second book, which Atria said it expects to publish in spring 2026.

Harper Buys Documentarian’s Debut

In an exclusive submission, Sara Nelson at Harper has acquired North American rights to The Umbrella Maker’s Son, the debut novel by Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated documentary producer Tod Lending. The deal was negotiated by Harvey Klinger at the Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. Klinger said the book captures the “remarkable odyssey” of 17-year-old Reuven Berkowitz, who flees besieged Krakow at the outset of WWII only to return to “the horrors of the Nazi ghetto Krakow became in search of the woman he’s loved since childhood.” The book is set for winter 2025.

Mira Snags Anderson’s Ghost Stories

In a preempt, Dina Davis at Mira has acquired world rights to two books by E.M. Anderson, the queer, neurodivergent author of The Remarkable Retirement of Edna Fisher. Keir Alekseii at Azantian Literary Agency brokered the deal. Mira called the first book, The Keeper of Lonely Spirits, set for spring 2025, “a cozy fantasy for fans of T.J. Klune and Sangu Mandanna.” The book will tell the story of “a grumpy 200-year-old immortal ghost hunter” who convinces angry ghosts to move on. Details for the second book have not yet been announced.