Italian Novel Finds Perch in Germany, Netherlands
The commercial women’s fiction debut The Rules of Tea and Love by Roberta Marasco has sold to Xander in the Netherlands and Blanvalet in Germany. Published last month in Italy by Tre60/Gruppo Editoriale Mauri Spagnol (which controls all rights), the book follows a woman named Elisa whose mother taught her how to match tea to peoples' personalities. Elisa, who never knew her father and was told he died when she was young, discovers, after her mother's death, a tea box with information in it about a village in Umbria. Believing the village holds answers about her father, she decides to go there.

Hong Kong Author’s Debut Moves to Korea
Once Upon A Time in Hong Kong by Ma Ka-Fai, which Gray Tan of Taiwan’s Grayhawk Agency is selling, has gained interest from various foreign houses after becoming a bestseller in Hong Kong. Published in the province by ThinKingdom in June, the book, which Tan compared to the work of Dennis Lehane, is the first title in a trilogy. The series is set in Hong Kong and follows two brothers, from WWII through the 1970s, who become gangsters. Korean rights have sold to Hyundaemunhak, and the book has also hit the bestseller list in Taiwan. Film rights have been sold to Hong Kong-based director/producer Johnnie To. The author is a columnist in Hong Kong.

French Nonfiction Title Sparks Interest
The Virtues of Failure by philosopher Charles Pépin was preempted by Garzanti, in Italy, just before the start of last week's Frankfurt Book Fair. German rights to the book have sold to Hanser. Marleen Seegers at the 2 Seas Agency is handling rights on behalf of Allary Editions in France, which published the book last month. In the book, Pépin looks at how some significant achievements began as failures, referencing the work of people ranging from Freud to Cicero.

Another Italian Novel Draws European Interest
Carmen Prestia of the Italy-based Alferj e Prestia Agency, who is handling rights for Notes Towards A Shipwreck by Davide Enia, has been fielding offers on the book from a number of foreign houses. The book has not yet sold in the author's home country of Italy (though an offer from Italian publisher has come in), but French publisher Albin Michel recently bought it after reading a partial manuscript. The novel, according to the agency, follows people dealing with literal and figurative shipwrecks. The book examines situations as disparate as a real shipwreck in the Mediterranean, and the author's relationship with his father.

Kondo-Like Book On Kitchens Gains Traction
Roberta Schira's La Dolce Kitchen is gaining momentum after a series of closed international deals. Vicki Satlow at the Vicki Satlow Literary Agency, who is handling rights to the book, confirmed that it has recently been acquired by Penguin Random House in Spain, Unieboek in the Netherlands, and Penguin Random House in Portugal. Subtitled The Italian Art of Celebrating Life, the book, which Vallardi published in Italy earlier this month, is, according to promotional material, written in a similar spirit as Marie Kondo’s international hit The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up; it aims to help readers create a nurturing and warm kitchen.