ManickaA first novel that made a big sale in London just before the Frankfurt fair (Hot Deals, Oct. 22) has been bought here by Pam Dorman and Clare Ferraro at Penguin Putnam. It's The Rice Mother, a saga of one woman's life in Malaysia before, during and after the Japanese occupation of that country in World War II, by a Malaysian expatriate living in London, Rani Manicka. They paid well into six figures to London agent Darley Anderson for two books, as Hodder's Sue Fletcher had done at auction at the beginning of last month. The Penguin pair bought North American rights and plan to publish in winter 2003.

Dorman bought another two-book package from Britain, this time two novels by newcomer William Brodrick, from agent Emma Parry at Carlisle & Company. The first, The Sixth Lamentation, stars lawyer-turned-monk Father Anselm and his efforts to unravel the secrets shared by a group of resistance fighters in WWII; the second book will be a sequel, also featuring Anselm.