The Frankfurt Book Fair kicked off with a number of big deals. Agents for authors Marcela Fuentes, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and Vivian Tu were all reported to have reached seven-figure agreements for upcoming works.
In a seven-figure, two-book, agreement Laura Tisdel at Viking bought North American rights to Fuentes’s debut novel Malas. Fuentes, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, was represented by Michelle Brower at Trellis Literary Management. The novel, Trellis said, is “a tale of revenge and passion” as well as “a family saga about the heartbreaking choices that reverberate across generations.”
The second book under contract, My Heart Has More Rooms Than a Whorehouse, is a linked story collection following members of a Latinx family that explores, the agency said, “the pressure points of familial obligations and the complexities of love.”
Fuentes, who was a 2016-17 James C. McCreight Fellow in fiction at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, has written for, among other publications, The Kenyon Review and The Rumpus.
In second rumored seven-figure deal for two books, Nicole Dennis-Benn sold her new untitled novel to Random House's Marie Pantojan at auction. Julie Barer at the Book Group represented Dennis-Benn in the North American rights agreement. The novel follows a young Jamaican girl named Faye who grows up with her family in a small coffee-farming village and returns home after a unhappy time as a model to find a community she no longer recognizes.
Dennis-Benn is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Here Comes the Sun and Patsy, both published by W.W. Norton’s Liveright imprint. The former, her 2016 debut, was named a New York Times Notable Book and was a finalist for a 2017 Young Lions Fiction Award. Patsy, published in 2019, won a Lambda Literary Award.
Vivian Tu’s Rich AF was acquired for seven figures by Trish Daly at Penguin Random House’s Portfolio imprint. The book, which Alyssa Reuben at William Morris Endeavor sold, is being pitched as a Rich Dad Poor Dad for millennials.
Tu, the child of Chinese immigrants who started her career on Wall Street, developed an online following dispensing no nonsense financial advice for the kind of people she didn’t see on the trading floor. Namely people like her, who didn’t grow up with, or around, money. Developing an online presence as @YourRichBFF—on Instagram she has more than 900,000 followers—Tu has branded herself as a personal finance guru for an inclusive audience.