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Castro Fact &Fiction
Judy Quinn -- 11/10/97
No U.S. publisher is 'fessing up to making that supposed $1 million world rights bid that agent Sandy Dijkstra claimed she had for that mysterious Fidel Castro book to be written with journalist Louis Nevaer before she went to Frankfurt. In the meantime, a Castro connection that is confirmed is part of the memoir by Gioconda Belli, the respected Nicaraguan novelist and p t who, without the knowledge of her upper-echelon family, joined the Sandinista movement. In her 40-page proposal she recalls a colorful meeting with Castro in Havana, in which he wanted to share rebel secrets. Represented by agent Bonnie Nadell of Frederick Hill Associates, Belli clicked particularly with Knopf president Sonny Mehta, who became the U.S. acquirer of the book with a rumored low-six-figure deal.
And the Castro connection also figures in a new high-concept thriller from Edgar nominee Brendan DuBois, who has written the Lewis Cole mysteries for SMP and in his new novel will speculate on what might have happened had the Cuban missile crisis become a full-fledged war. Putnam executive editor Liza Dawson won the five-publisher, four-round auction for this book, which had attracted a seven-figure buzz among film and foreign scouts. The real deal, negotiated by Jed Mattes, is rumored to be $250,000 hard/soft. No pub date is set yet.
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