A memoir called Lilla's Feast, British writer Frances Osborne's story of her great-grandmother's extraordinary life in China, London, Calcutta and, ultimately, in a Japanese internment camp in China in WWII, made strong sales on both sides of the Atlantic by agents from Janklow & Nesbit. In London, Claire Patterson handled a strongly contested auction, based on Osborne's riveting 80-page proposal, that ended in a win for Jane Lawson at Transworld. Meanwhile, Mouria in Holland preempted for a handsome sum. It was Eric Simonoff in New York who made the American sale, in which Ballantine's Elisabeth Dyssegarde beat out bidders from Scribner and FSG/North Point. The book's title refers to the fact that Lilla kept her mind alive in the prison camp by composing an imaginary cookbook.
Volume 250 Issue 8 02/24/2003