A new novel by Anne Roiphe called Secrets of the City, about the family and political struggles of a big-city mayor, was bought by Shaye Areheart for her Crown imprint; she got world English rights from agent Lisa Bankoff at ICM.... Kris Puopolo at Broadway paid into seven figures for two new books by David Bach, who has a franchise with his FinishRich titles, seminars and TV show; the two new titles, bought for world rights from agent Jan Miller at Dupree/ Miller, are The Automatic Millionaire and Start Young, Finish Rich .... Agent Scott Waxman sold Ecco's Dan Halpern a memoir by legendary boxing trainer Teddy Atlas (who once coached a teenage Tyson); it's called Life on the Ropes, and Halpern won world rights at auction, for publication in spring 2004.... A young SMP editor, Rebecca Heller, bought a first novel by Columbia MFA grad (and student of Michael Cunningham) Alec Michod. It's a literary historical thriller called The White City, set during the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and Heller made the best bid to agent Kim Golstein at Carol Mann for U.S. and Canada hard/soft.... Different Morrow editors signed two major biographies last week: the first, about Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas and based on Ken Foskett's award-winning series in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was preempted by Mauro DiPreta for world rights. The book will attempt to show the considerable differences between his public and private personas. The other is the first authorized biography of SF giant Ray Bradbury, still productive at 81, to be written by Chicago-based journalist (and former PW correspondent) Sam Weller. The buyer was Jennifer Brehl, who paid six figures for world rights to agent Judith Ehrlich .... Alicka Pistek's name was misspelled last week; sorry.