Rick Horgan, in one of his first major acquisitions since joining Scribner, has paid seven figures for U.S. rights to Angela Duckworth’s Grit. The book, by the University of Pennsylvania associate psychology professor, explores the concept that perseverance and hard work really do allow otherwise unexceptional people to achieve exceptional goals.
Richard Pine at Inkwell Management represents the book, and confirmed a number of international deals, including agreements with houses in Canada, the U.K., Brazil, Spain, Holland, Korea and for an Arabic edition.
Pine called Duckworth, who has a PhD and is a MacArthur fellow, a “research pioneer” and said Grit “will offer new, scientifically-based ideas and strategies that hold the promise to transform readers' lives.”
The book, which Inkwell touted as one of its major titles coming into the fair, is subtitled Passion, Perseverance and the Science of Success; it is Duckworth’s debut. Inkwell said Grit will show what the author has found in her research, as well as in her own life: that it's not simply natural intelligence or talent that allows people to stand out. Instead, success can hinge on the quality of grit, which Duckworth argues “can be instilled and cultivated by anyone, anywhere, and at any time in life.”
Duckworth, whose research has been covered by myriad publications, ranging from The New York Times Magazine to Psychology Today, was a management consultant at McKinsey and a high school math teacher in New York City’s public schools, before becoming a professor. Her TED talk on the subject of grit has been viewed over 5 million times.
NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect additional foreign sales than initially reported.