The first day at Frankfurt brought news of deals mostly made just before the fair began, and with further rights sales still to come.

A particularly active player was Riverhead's Julie Grau, who was quick to sign up a first novel by Lenn Ullman, the striking 31-year-old daughter of legendary film director Ingmar Bergman and actress Liv Ullman. The book, Before You Sleep, was bought from agent Andrew Wylie for what was described as "a good six figures" on the basis of 60 pages in English. Grau, who noted that the writing was "remarkably assured" for a first novel, said the book is a generational story set in contemporary Norway as well as in the Norwegian community in Brooklyn in the 1930s. Ullman, said Grau, has studied at New York University and will be thoroughly involved in the translation. The book will be on the fall '99 list for Viking. A six-figure German sale, to Dr mer, has also been made, and a French one to Plon. An auction for U.K. rights was under way at press time.

Wearing her Riverhead hat, Grau also bought the next book by Iain Pears, the brainy British novelist whose Instance of the Fingerpost was a critical and commercial hit last year. Like his previous novel, the new one, bought on the basis of an outline and a few pages, is a large and ambitious creation, set in the 5th, 14th and 20th centuries, its elements of "platonic philosophy and a love story" brought together by an ancient text. Pears, says Grau, describes it as "a complexity." She thinks it's much more remarkable than Fingerpost.

Larry Ashmead at HarperCollins made a preemptive deal with the U.K. colleagues for The Keys of Egypt, about the French linguist who deciphered the Egyptian hieroglyphics in the early 19th century. Written by a husband-and-wife team, Lesley and Rod Adkins, it's described as "an enthralling detective story" likely to appeal to anyone interested in well-researched narrative nonfiction. The manuscript, acquired from London's Christopher Little agency, is due for delivery next fall, publication in 2000.

Lynn Franklin was shopping foreign rights for Archbishop Desmond Tutu's book about the work of South Africa's Reconciliation Commission, No Future Without Forgiveness. In the U.K., Mary Clemmey, acting for her, sold it to Random's Rider division, and Doubleday will do it in the U.S.

Agent Tom Wallace, now out on his own, has made an early sale to Peter Mayer at Overlook Press of This Is Berlin, the text of the dramatic radio broadcasts made between 1938 and 1940 by William L. Shirer, later to become famous as the postwar author of Berlin Diary and Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The tapes were recently discovered by Shirer's son-in-law, and the transcripts, said Mayer, "are absolutely enthralling. The immediacy is such that although it's a big book, you read through it in a few hours." The correspondent actually traveled with the German Army as it invaded Poland and France, sending back his dramatic broadcasts until he could no longer work with the Nazis.

Extraordinary attention is being given to another phenomenon from those times: Hitler: 1889-1936, a detailed examination of the Nazi dictator's formative years by a British historian, Ian Kershaw. Published by Allen Lane's Penguin Press in the U.K., the German translation, published by DVA, was drawing crowds to its stand in Hall 5, where several shelves of copies were mobbed by curious fairg rs. PW was unable to learn at press time if there was a U.S. publisher.

Other jottings from around the floor: Bill Shinker at Broadway Books has sold Beethoven's Hair to Bloomsbury; Esther Margolis at Newmarket has sold her house's book about the making of the new version of Cabaret to Hodder Headline; and Morgan Entrekin at Grove/Atlantic reported a big movie sale and keen foreign interest in Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down, described as a gripping nonfiction account of a deadly firefight by a group of Marines trapped in Mogadishu, Somalia, three years ago. It's due out in the U.S. next March.