Occasionally, in the words of London agent Darley Anderson, it's still possible to make "a good, old-fashioned Frankfurt deal—pre-scouts, pre-e-mail," like the one he made over ice cream at the Simon & Schuster stand with Pocket Books publisher Judith Curr. It was one in which Curr bought U.S. rights to a book, already taken by Heinemann in London, that no U.S. publisher had seen up to then: The Cat and the Tao, a mix of paintings and Chinese wisdom assembled by Chinese artist Kwong Kuen Shan. He might, said Anderson, have given Curr a floor and opened the bidding to other publishers in New York, but was so impressed by her "enthusiasm and ambitions for the book" that he gave her a preempt for $100,000—"a complete justification for her trip." Anderson's big book for the fair, however, is one he will be bringing over personally soon to show around in New York. It's a first novel he plucked from his slush pile, called The Rice Mother by a Malaysian-born Londoner, Rani Manicka, and it set off a flurry of strong foreign interest after it was bought at auction, for nearly half a million, by Sue Fletcher at Hodder. This generational saga of life in Malaysia (then Malaya) before, during and after the Japanese invasion of WWII, has already sold in nine countries.