The noted essayist and novelist has signed with Dan Halpern at HarperCollins' Ecco imprint for two new books, a novel masquerading as a piece of social history and a gossipy memoir. The North American rights deals, signed with agent Amanda Urban at ICM, are for several years hence, the novel for January 2004, the memoir for two years later. The novel, based on real social history as reimagined by White, is The Life of Frances Wright, an account, as written by Mrs. Franny Trollope, who despised 19th-century American social mores, of the life of a Scottish gentlewoman who was General Lafayette's mistress and busied herself with good works. The memoir, which will be arranged by subject rather than chronologically, will discuss many aspects of the writer's crowded life, including his many celebrity friends, his life in cities around the world, his AIDS and his family.