While the elusive "big book" may be even more elusive at this year's London Book Fair with so many American agents and publishers unable to attend, deals are still happening. To that end, Macmillan's Steve Rubin just closed a major two-book deal, his first big fiction acquisition since he arrived at Holt, buying David Snodin's Iago and Gnoeril. Both books are inspired by Shaekespeare plays (Othello and King Lear, respectively) and Snodin, a British screenwriter/producer, was represented by Mark Lucas at the London-based agency LAW.

Rubin took world rights to the works and Holt's Marjorie Braman will edit; Iago is scheduled for August 2011 and Gnoeril for August 2013.

Snodin, who's mounted TV productions of classics ranging from Crime and Punishment to Tess of the D'Ubervilles, spent over 19 years writing Iago. Rubin said the novel works "whether you know Othello or not; if you don't you can just enjoy a helluva good story; if you do, you are constantly in awe of Snodin's playfulness and ingenuity. "