One of the hottest fiction titles at Baror is Cory Doctorow’s novel Walkaway (Tor, Apr. 2017), which the shingle bills as “an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death.” The sci-fi thriller follows a man who lives through the breakdown of society as he knows it. Another fiction biggie for the agency is Omega Canyon by Dan Simmons (Little, Brown, Mar. 2017). This work of historical fiction follows two Viennese brothers who flee Europe on the eve of World War II—one, a physicist, goes to work on the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, while the other becomes a commando in England’s Special Operations Executive program. Newcomer Megan Bannen, a librarian by trade, retells an epic poem from ancient Persia in her debut, The Nameless Prince (HC/Balzer + Bray, fall 2018). Another debut, this one nonfiction, is Sarah Robb O’Hagan’s Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat. (HarperBusiness, Apr. 2017). The former president of Gatorade and Equinox, O’Hagan is a fitness guru, and her book lays out an intense training program.
Curtis Brown Ltd.
Among the big novels the New York City–based shingle will be shopping in Germany is Benjamin Percy’s The Dark Net (HMH, Aug. 2017), a literary horror, the firm says, about the “virtual underworld” and an onslaught of demons that are “threatening to spread virally into the real world—unless others can stop them.” Another big novel for CB is Jeff Abbott’s Blame (Grand Central, Mar. 2017), a work of psychological suspense in which a car crash—which leaves one teenager dead and another with amnesia—leads to a mysterious message two years later from someone claiming to know what happened that night. From Under the Tuscan Sun author Frances Mayes is The Women in Sunlight (Crown, fall 2017), about an American writer in Italy who, the agency says, has her “sense of belonging thrown off when three American women move to her Tuscan neighborhood.” And from Abdi Nazemian is The Authentics (HC/Balzer + Bray, summer 2017), about a 15-year-old Iranian-American girl named Daria who is a member of a high school group that calls itself the Authentics and revels in, the agency says, being “just who they really are.” Daria’s life is upended, though, when she finds out she is adopted and her birth mother is Mexican.
Elyse Cheney Literary Associates
A big nonfiction title for the agency is Maria Konnikova’s Lady, Cowboy, Joker, Knave (not yet submitted), a memoir in which the author chronicles the year she spent training with some of the world’s best poker players. According to the agency, Konnikova uses the game “as a lens through which to examine how we navigate the perpetual delicate balancing act of chance and skill in our lives.” From Monica Potts, a fellow at the New America Foundation, is a currently untitled narrative nonfiction work expanded from an article the author wrote for American Prospect called “What’s Killing Poor White Women?” The not-yet submitted book will, the agency says, “tackle the alarming public health, drugs, and incarceration epidemic” among this demographic. A notable novel on Cheney’s hot list is The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy (Harper, Feb. 2017). In the book, the shingle says, the Washington University M.F.A. grad “combines psychological suspense, erotic drama, and a murder mystery” with a story that “dovetails with ideas about love, self-alienation, and the elusiveness of identity.” And from Lillian Li is Peking Gourmet (Holt, 2018), a debut novel from a 24-year-old University of Michigan M.F.A. grad that, the shingle says, is “set in the world of a Chinese restaurant outside of Washington, D.C.” and is a “darkly comic story of a dysfunctional Chinese immigrant family.”
The Clegg Agency
One of the hot nonfiction titles for Bill Clegg’s shingle is Matt Young’s Eat the Apple (Bloomsbury, spring 2018), a debut memoir from a former Marine and Miami University M.F.A. grad that, the shingle says, “uses a kaleidoscopic array of immersive narrative angles to tell the story of [the author’s] three hard tours in Iraq during the surge and IED road wars.” From Eileen author Ottessa Moshfegh, recently shortlisted for the Man Booker, is the short story collection Homesick for Another World (Penguin Press, Jan. 2017), which the agency says explores “the varieties of self-deception across the gamut of individuals representing the human condition.” Another big novel on the agency’s lineup is The Destroyers by Christopher Bollen (HarperCollins, Jan. 2017), about a wealthy young New Yorker who, after being rocked by a scandal, tries to restart his life on a remote Greek island where a childhood friend now lives. But, the agency says, all is “not as it seems” in paradise, as “dark forces are at work amid the expensive yachts, lavish gatherings, and rocky, sun-drenched beaches.” The other big memoir on Clegg’s list is Mark Slouka’s Nobody’s Son (Norton, Oct.), in which the author traces his Czechoslovakian parents’ harrowing escape from the Communist purges that seized the country after World War II. Slouka chronicles how his newlywed parents, after surviving World War II, “joined a tide of refugees moving through Innsbruck to Sydney to New York, dragging with them a history of blood and betrayal into which their son would be born.”
DeFiore and Company
The agency has a number of novels it will be pushing in the rights center, among them Leni Zumas’s Red Clocks (LB/Boudreaux, winter 2018), which follows five women in a near future in which, the agency says, “abortion and assisted reproduction are no longer legal.” Another big novel for the shingle is Your One and Only by Adrianne Finley (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, fall 2017). Also set in the future, in a world populated exclusively by nine types of clones, the book follows “the first new human created in centuries, and the clone girl who falls in love with him.” Then there’s Christopher Moore’s Noir (Morrow, spring 2018), a comedic work from the author of Lamb that the agency describes as “Raymond Chandler meets Damon Runyon, with more than a dash of Bugs Bunny.” On the nonfiction front is Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc (Ten Speed, fall 2017), a Romanian photographer who has gained notoriety for her popular Tumblr (called the Atlas of Beauty) featuring shots of women she took while backpacking around the world.
Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
At the top of SDLA’s list is the latest novel by bestselling author Lisa See. Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (Scribner, Mar. 2017) is set alternately in a region of China famed for its tea and Pasadena, Calif., telling the tale of a mother and daughter separated by circumstance. In nonfiction, Stanford University professor Ian Morris shows how the stage was set for Brexit by chronicling the history of British relations with Europe in Fog in the Channel: Eight Thousand Years of Britain, Europe, and the Wider World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, delivery Dec. 2017). Another Stanford professor, Irvin Yalom, is the author of Dijkstra’s other big nonfiction book, Was That Life? Well Then, Once Again: A Memoir (Basic, fall 2017), a personal narrative with a focus on the lessons the psychiatry and psychotherapy expert has learned over the course of his life.
Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
The one adult fiction title on DGLM’s hot list is Jacqueline Carey’s Miranda and Caliban (Tor, Feb. 2017), a retelling of The Tempest. On the adult nonfiction side is Lithium (Liveright), Walter Brown’s biography of John Cade, which the agency says is about “the treatment that launched the pharmacological revolution and the brilliant, unprepossessing doctor who discovered it.” The big YA title from DGLM is Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza (HarperTeen, fall 2017). The book is Priemza’s YA contemporary debut, and it follows the friendship formed by two girls working on a science fair project who bond over “panic attacks, ADHD, video games, and their favorite YouTube star.” Then there’s Story Thieves, the middle grade adventure series from James Riley (for which Aladdin will publish book three in Jan. 2017). The series, the agency explains, is about a boy who finds out his classmate is “half-fictional and agrees to help her find her missing fictional father.”
Foundry Literary + Media
One of Foundry’s big Frankfurt books is Maria Smilios’s The Black Angels (Flatiron, no pub date yet). Smilios is a developmental editor at Springer, and the book, the agency says, spans from the Depression, through World War II, to 1952 chronicling “the unlikely story of the Black Angels, a group of 300 black nurses who changed the course of history.” Then from Trevor Noah is Born a Crime (Random/Spiegel & Grau, Nov.), a collection of personal essays from the Daily Show host that, Foundry says, “tells the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist.” Another hot title for the firm is Lonely Boy by Steve Jones (Da Capo, Oct. 2017), a memoir from the guitarist of the Sex Pistols that details the sexual abuse he suffered as a young man, at the hands of his stepfather, and his early days in the iconic punk band. And then there’s Denise Kiernan’s The Last Castle (Touchstone, Sept. 2017), a book from the author of The Girls of Atomic City about the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., which the agency calls “America’s own Downton Abbey.”
The Gernert Company
On the fiction side, the agency has Rachel Kadish’s The Weight of Ink (HMH, June 2017), a historical novel about, the firm says, “the choices women have always made in their attempts to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.” From Mindy Mejia is Everything You Want Me to Be (Atria/Bestler, Jan. 2017); the author’s adult fiction debut follows, the agency says, the death of a high schooler in a small Midwestern town “that tests the lines between guilt and innocence.” On the nonfiction front is Sarah Williams Goldhagen’s Welcome to Your World (HarperCollins, Apr. 2017), a book about advancements in cognitive psychology and neuroscience from a former teacher at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Then there’s Deep Thinking: The Human Future of Artificial Intelligence by Garry Kasparov (Public Affairs, May 2017), which, the agency says, offers a take on AI from the chess grand master “via a 20-year look back at his epic 1997 match against IBM supercomputer Deep Blue.”
Sanford J. Greenburger Associates
The big picks for fiction at Greenburger include Tad Williams’s follow-up to his Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, which, the agency says, has sold millions of copies worldwide. The new trilogy is called the Last King of Osten Ard (Daw, Apr. 2017). In nonfiction there’s Holly Tucker’s City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris (Norton, Mar. 2017), which digs into the drama within the royal court of Louis XIV, detailing the rivalries and intrigue central to the 17th-century murder scandal known as the Affair of the Poisons. A second nonfiction offering, Lorna Byrne’s The Way of the Angels (no U.S. publisher yet), sees the Angels in My Hair author return to her stories about experiencing the presence of angels while growing up in rural Ireland. And then there’s The Lost House: A Seek-and-Find Book (Viking, Sept.), author B.B. Cronin’s debut and the first in a forthcoming series; it won the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal for Original Art in 2016. In its review, PW called Cronin’s work “elegant as can be.”
ICM Partners and ICM/Sagalyn
(handled by U.K.-based Curtis Brown)
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan (Doubleday, summer 2017) is one of the hot titles Curtis Brown will be playing up, on behalf of ICM, in Germany. The book is the final installment in the author’s Rich Asian trilogy and, the agency says, “concludes the story of Nick, Rachel, and Astrid against a backdrop of lavish excess.” From Richard Ford is Between Them: Remembering My Parents (Ecco, May 2017), a portrait of the Pulitzer-winning author’s mother and father. The other big novel for ICM is Michael Crichton’s Dragon Teeth (HarperCollins, May 2017), a recently discovered work by the deceased author that follows the rivalry between two real-life paleontologists in the American west during the late 19th century. And on the nonfiction side, handled by ICM/Sagalyn, is Economism by James Kwak (Pantheon, no pub date yet), author of 13 Bankers; subtitled Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality, the book, the agency says, explains “how basic economic ideas are systematically misunderstood and misused, and how they fail to capture the complexity of the real world.”
A big novel for Inkwell this year is Rene Denfeld’s The Child Finder (HarperCollins, winter 2018); a work of suspense from the author of The Enchanted, Inkwell says the book flip-flops between the vantage point of two characters, “an investigator known for her unique ability to find missing children and a young girl with a rich imagination who vanished from a snowy, remote mountain community.” From Katherine Heiny is the debut novel Standard Deviation (Knopf, May 2017), which Inkwell calls “a rueful, funny examination of love, marriage, infidelity, and origami.” On the nonfiction side, the agency will be pushing Six Legs & Two Hearts by Chris McDougall (Knopf, summer 2017), author of the bestselling running memoir Born to Run; Six Legs follows McDougall’s attempt to turn a rescue donkey into a racing animal for what the shingle dubs “one of the oldest foot races in the country.” The other big nonfiction title is Jonathan Kaufman’s Kings of Shanghai (Viking, Sept. 2019), about two families who, Inkwell explains, “set sail for China in the 19th century and became dynasties.”
Janklow & Nesbit
One of the top nonfiction titles on J&N’s hot list is High Notes by Gay Talese (Bloomsbury, Jan. 2017), a collection of the articles (from magazines including the New Yorker) that inspired his books Thy Neighbor’s Wife and Honor Thy Father. Another nonfiction title the agency will be talking up is How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden and a Story of Espionage by investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein (Knopf, Mar. 2017). The agency calls the book “a groundbreaking exposé that convincingly challenges the popular image of Edward Snowden as a hacker turned avenging angel.” Among the agency’s big novels is Angelica Baker’s debut, Our Little Racket (Ecco, summer 2017), about how the lives of five women are forever changed by the downfall of a financial titan during the crash of 2008; the author is a 27-year-old with an M.F.A. from Columbia. And then there’s Anne Rice’s Prince LeStat and the Realms of Atlantis (Knopf, Nov.), the 12th book in the author’s bestselling Vampire Chronicles series.
Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency
Naggar’s top fiction pick is Gone to Dust by Emmy-winning Seinfeld and Ellen writer Matt Goldman (Forge, Sept. 2017). The novel is the first in a Scandinavian-style mystery series. Two illustrated volumes are the agency’s top nonfiction offerings this year. The first, Misha Maynerick Blaise’s This Phenomenal Life: The Amazing Ways We Are Connected with Our Universe (Lyons, Mar. 2017), sees the designer and artist for clients including T: The New York Times Style Magazine and Urban Outfitters turn her talents to telling a fact-filled story about the ways humans are interconnected with nature. I’m So Pregnant by Norwegian illustrator and animator Line Severinsen (Adams Media, Mar.), explores the biggest and most embarrassing pregnancy problems that are rarely discussed, in the form of cartoons. (Norwegian rights to Severinsen’s book sold to Aschehoug in a three-book deal.) Then there’s Gillian French’s debut, Grit (HarperTeen, May 2017), about a 17-year-old blueberry harvester with a big secret.
The Zoë Pagnamenta Agency
One book this agency will be talking up is Tom Venderbilt’s Beginners: The Curious Power of Lifelong Learning (Knopf, 2020); the shingle says the title sees the author “embark on a series of efforts to acquire a range of new physical and artistic skills... in the act of learning new things—at any age.” Another hot title on the agency’s list is Ravi Agrawal’s Indian Mobility (currently on submission), a book by CNN’s International’s New Delhi bureau chief, which, the firm says, is about the revolution “that is changing the lives of a billion Indians and reshaping the world’s biggest democracy.” Then there’s Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved (currently on submission), a memoir from an assistant professor at Duke University’s divinity school, which was expanded from her Valentine’s Day essay in the New York Times, “Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me.”
The Jane Rotrosen Agency
A big title for the shingle is Lisa Gardner’s Right Behind You (Dutton, Feb. 2017), a new thriller in the bestselling author’s FBI Profiler series; in this outing FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his homicide-detective wife, Rainie Conner, have recently become adoptive parents to a teenager with a brother that, the agency says, “may be a hero or a killer.” From Iris and Roy Johansen is Look Behind You (St. Martin’s, July 2017), a new novel featuring the mother-and-son writing team’s heroine Kendra Michaels, a formerly blind consultant for the FBI and CIA. Then there’s The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni (Thomas & Mercer, Jan. 2017), the next installment in the author’s Tracy Crosswhite series, which follows the Seattle-based detective. And from Kelly Rimmer is Before I Let You Go (currently on submission), about, per the agency, “the unbreakable bond between two sisters.” After the sisters’ lives diverge as adults, with one becoming a heroin addict, the two are reunited when the addict’s new baby might be placed in foster care.
Trident Media Group
Among the big titles Trident is shopping in Germany is Lisa Scottoline’s One Perfect Lie (St. Martin’s, Apr. 2017), a thriller about a single mother attempting to keep her son, a high school pitcher, away from a criminal-minded teammate. Another big novel for the shingle is Charlatans by Robin Cook (Putnam, pub date not set), which Trident says “explores the dark side of our fascination with social media.” Then there’s Kate Moretti’s The Blackbird Season (Simon & Schuster, fall 2017), about a couple that find themselves in trouble after the husband is accused of statutory rape. On the nonfiction side is Tess Fontaine’s Freak (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, fall 2017), a debut memoir about the year the author spent performing with a circus sideshow called World of Wonders.
Among the big titles WH will be pushing in Frankfurt is Stephenie Meyer’s The Chemist (Little, Brown, Nov.), the first adult thriller from the author of the Twilight Saga; rights have been sold in 27 countries to date. From Michael Lewis is The Undoing Project (Norton, Dec.), about the work of the psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky who, WH says, did research on judgment that has “challenged fundamental beliefs about human nature.” The agency will also be touting Streampunks (HarperBusiness, summer 2017), a book by YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl and Google’s lead speechwriter Maany Peyvan that offers a “behind-the-scenes account of the business development of YouTube.” Finally, from Ransom Riggs, is Tales of the Peculiar, a companion title to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the author’s bestseller and soon-to-be-movie.
The Wylie Agency
A top title for this outfit is the debut novel from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, Heather, the Totality (Little Brown, manuscript due in Nov.), about a seemingly perfect family in Manhattan and a man with a far more imperfect life who, the agency says, is on a “collision course” with them. From James Ellroy is This Storm (Knopf, manuscript due in fall 2017), the second volume in the author’s Second L.A. Quartet; the agency says the book will “seamlessly extend the narrative” of Ellroy’s last novel, Perfidia, and feature characters from his first two major bodies of work, the L.A. Quartet and the U.S.A. Underground Trilogy. Another big novel for the agency is Claire Messud’s The Burning Girl (no U.S. publisher yet), about two best friends from a small Massachusetts town whose paths diverge when they become adolescents; the agency says the book is at once a tale of “childhood, friendship and community, and a complex examination of the stories we tell ourselves about childhood and friendship.” On the nonfiction side is Asne Seierstad’s Two Sisters (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, manuscript due in fall 2016), a work of reportage about two Norwegian girls who, in 2013, left Oslo for Syria to join ISIS.
Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency
A debut novel, Grace Dane Mazur’s About Time (Random House, fall 2017), tops ZSHLA’s fiction list this go around. Billed as a contemporary comedy of manners, Mazur’s book follows two very different families at a rehearsal dinner the night before a big wedding. Next up, in nonfiction, is Arun Gandhi’s The Gift of Anger: And Other Lessons from My Grandfather (S&S/Jeter, fall 2017). Gandhi is the fifth grandson of Indian peace activist Mahatma Gandhi; his book examines 10 life lessons the author received from his grandfather when he was younger. Another notable nonfiction offering from the shingle is Bloom: Hitting Your Stride at Any Age or Stage by Forbes publisher Richard Karlgaard (Crown, fall 2017); in it the author argues for the possibility of succeeding at business—and self-fulfillment—at any age.
Some of the books U.S. agents will be talking up at this year’s fair include new essay collections from Trevor Noah and Gay Talese, a memoir from Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, the debut novel from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, and a new adult thriller from Stephenie Meyer.
New programs and a continued engagement with creative sectors outside of traditional book publishing have expanded the scope of the show, though rights is still at the core.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled the last name of author Anna Priemaza and misidentified the title of her book, Kat and Meg Conquer the World. Additionally, the title of James Riley's series is Story Thieves. Also, Iris and Roy Johansen were initially identified as a husband-and-wife writing team; they are a mother-and-son writing team.