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Publishers Weekly Hot Deals

Hot Deals
John F. Baker -- 7/31/00

Tiger Due for New Look | Big Movie Deal for Cornwell
Hyperion Gets Michael J. Fox | Strong Sale for a First Cookbook
New 'Quixote' on the Way | Short Takes

Tiger Due for New Look
Tiger Woods
, who continues to astonish with his golf successes, is about to get a new bio (to add to several) from St. Martin's Press, where editor Pete Wolverton at the Thomas Dunne imprint has just signed golf writer Tim Rosaforte to do a new book about the champ, to be called Raising the Bar. The book, in the works for several months, will be published at the beginning of November, with a first printing of 150,000 copies. It will cover Tiger as he plays his way through the various tournaments in 2000. The deal, for a "healthy" six figures, was signed with two agents, Frank Weimann at Literary Group International, and Scott Waxman, and is for North American rights, plus first and second serial and book club. Rosaforte, who has written several golf books, is a senior writer for Golf World.

Big Movie Deal for CornwellThere hasn't been a movie so far built around Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta character, but that's likely to change with a big and unusually wide-ranging movie rights sale to Sony Pictures. In a deal orchestrated by ICM's Jeff Berg, Ron Bernstein and Esther Newberg (Cornwell's literary agent), the studio bought rights to all 11 books so far starring the feisty Southern medical examiner. Casey Silver was named as producer on what the studio clearly intends will become a franchise. The deal was reportedly for $5 million for what is in effect an ongoing five-year option on books already written and forthcoming during that period, with more as movies actually go into production. The author met with senior Sony executives John Calley, AmyPascal and Lurie Furie, all said to be enthusiastic Cornwell fans, before the deal was signed.

Hyperion Gets Michael J. Fox

Fox: Will discuss Parkinson's
The youthful-looking actor, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease nine years ago, is to tell his story for Hyperion, where president Bob Miller signed him up for a reported $4 million for a book about his illness and his efforts to live with it. The auction deal, in which Hyperion beat out, among others, Riverhead and Scribner, was made with agent Amanda Urban at ICM, and calls for the actor to donate the proceeds of the book to his own Foundation for Parkinson's Disease. The book, for which world rights were bought, will be edited by v-p and publisher Martha Levin, who hopes to bring it out in October of next year.

Strong Sale for a First CookbookThe very first cookbook written by key media chef Sara Moulton, to be called Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, went for just under a half-million dollars to Jennifer Josephy at Broadway Books, after an auction involving eight publishers spread over five days. Moulton and her agent, Judith Weber at Sobel Weber, interviewed the top three contenders on their marketing plans for the book before settling on Broadway. The deal is for North American rights. Moulton is highly visible, as the chef on her TV show, Cooking Live with Sara Moulton, as food editor for Good Morning, America on ABC and as executive chef for Gourmet magazine.The book will be published in fall 2002.

New 'Quixote' on the Way
Dan Halpern
of HarperCollins's Ecco Press has long felt that currently available translations of Cervantes's Don Quixotewere inadequate--and in any case there had been no new substantive one in nearly 50 years. He was recently reading Edith Grossman's translation of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez,and he thought the way she caught Márquez's style was exactly what the great Spaniard's classic needed. So he approached her, and Grossman told him, "All my life I've been waiting for someone to ask me to do that." Both of them think Quixote is much funnier than previous translations have indicated--"and of course it's magic realism, too"--and as soon as Grossman finishes a current project, by next February, she will start on it. Halpern said he offered, through a lawyer representing her, a generous (but unspecified) advance, as well as a royalty much higher than translators usually get, "and I think we'll have a new classic." She expects to take at most 18 months, so Halpern hopes to publish in spring 2003. He bought world English rights, plus audio and book club.

Short TakesA young agent, Paul Cirone, at Aaron Priest, has made his first big sale, a low six-figures one, to ElisabethSchmitz at Grove/ Atlantic. The book is a literary first novel, calledPeace Like a River,set in Minnesota in the '60s, by Minnesota writer LeifEnger, and Schmitz, who bought North American rights, plans to make it a lead title in the fall of next year.... Jonathan Burnham at Talk Miramax Books paid $225,000 for world rights to SylviaAnnHewlett'sBaby Hunger, about why it's easier for male execs to play proud parent than female ones; Molly Friedrich, also at Priest, made the sale.... A two-book deal for Eliot Pattison, author of last year's Edgar-winning The Skull Mantra, has been made with St. Martin's editor Michael Denneny, world rights, by Coast agent Natasha Kern.
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