Italian Novel, Featuring Napoleon, Gets Optioned
TEO, a novel by 24-year-old Lorenza Gentile originally published by Italian house Einaudi Stile Libero, has been getting snatched up by publishers, as well as one film company. Translation rights have sold to Open Books (Korea) and DTV (Germany), while the film rights were recently optioned by the German producer Pantaleon. The novel, which is represented by Vicki Satlow of the Vicki Satlow Literary Agency, follows an 8-year-old boy living in a dysfunctional family. After he receives a book about Napoleon, he becomes convinced that the only person who can stop the fighting between his parents is the famous French leader. The author has a degree in theater arts and drama from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Done's 'Secret' Draws Int'l Buyers
A novel acquired in the U.K. just before April's London Book Fair--Rebecca Done's The Secret We're Keeping--has started to pick up steam internationally. Rebecca Ritchie at Curtis Brown UK initially sold U.K. and Commonwealth rights (including Canada) to Kimberly Atkins at Michael Joseph in a pre-empt. Since then, sales have been made to Krueger/Scherz (Germany); Companhia das Letras (Brazil); Luitingh-Sijthoff (the Netherlands); and Fleuve (France). All rights for the book are being handled by Curtis Brown UK. The novel follows former lovers Darcey and Todd, who are reunited after 17 years apart. After meeting under less-than-ideal circumstances--Darcey was 15 and Todd was her older, married math teacher--their affair ended with Todd going to prison. Done is a former magazine editor who now works as a copywriter.
Polish Crime Series Hits U.S. Shores
The first book in the Lipovo crime series, Butterfly, is now on submission in the U.S. and U.K. Polish author Katarzyna Puzynska has been drawing comparisons to bestselling Swedish crime writer Camilla Lackberg for the series, which was published in Poland by Proszynski. Gregory Messina, of the newly formed Linwood Messina Agency, is representing rights for the novel on behalf of Proszynski, and has recently closed deals with publishers in Romania and Lithuania. Butterfly opens with the discovery of the body of a nun outside a small Polish village. When another victim is found days later, police begin a race to find the killer. As the investigation gets underway, Proszynski explained, "dark secrets from the nun's past" as well as the secrets of the villagers, are revealed.
Swedish 'Serial'-esque Novel Lands in the U.S.
Everything I Don't Remember, the new novel by Swedish author Jonas Hassen Khemiri (One Eye Red), has been heating up in the international market. The book has sold to 10 publishers around the globe recently, including to Atria in the U.S., where editor Rakesh Satyal has acquired it. After a young man dies in a car crash, a writer begins interviewing the young man's friends and relatives in an effort to map out the victim's final day. The writer's goal: figure out if crash was an accident or suicide. Satyal said the book reminded him of the popular podcast Serial because it's a "multilayered, ethnically diverse narrative in which reportage and mystery coincide masterfully.” Rights to the book are controlled by Astri von Arbin Ahlander, at the Ahlander Agency, and the originating publisher is Albert Bonniers in Sweden.
'Poppins'-Like Finnish Novel Heads Abroad
Monster Nanny by Tuutikki Tolonen, a middle-grade novel represented by Elina Ahlback of Finland's Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, has sold to Carl Hanser Verlag (Germany) in a two-book preempt. Tammi will publish the novel in Finland in fall 2015, and book two is set for spring 2016. The book is about what happens when a "swamp-smelling creature said to be a specialist in childcare" shows up at the door of a Finnish family. Ahlback said she's pitching the novel as Mary Poppins meets Where The Wild Things Are.