Scribner v-p/senior editor Maria Guarnaschelli has made what is reported to be a $500,000 acquisition of hard/soft rights to Fathers &Daughters, the second novel by Robert Hellenga, a professor of English at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. Hellenga's debut, The Sixteen Pleasures, about a young American book conservator in Florence after the terrible Arno flood of 1966, was a five-years-shopped novel that became a sleeper hit ("witty, sophisticated and wise," said our starred review) for Soho Press in 1994 and had a six-figure paperback sale to Dell. The Delta trade paperback, especially popular in reading clubs, has sold steadily, to the tune of about 125,000 copies to date, said Hellenga's agent, Henry Dunow. The deal for Hellenga's second novel, which will focus on a family's response when its eldest daughter is killed in a terrorist bombing at an Italian train station, was the first major one conducted by Dunow since he left Harold Ober Associates Inc. to form the Henry Dunow Literary Agency. Scribner plans a July 1998 hardcover publication.
Volume 243 Issue 30 07/28/1997