A first novel by a UC-Berkeley English professor and critic, Michael Andre Bernstein , that agent Georges Borchardt thinks will cause a major stir on publication was sold to Jonathan Galassi at Farrar, Straus & Giroux for world English rights. It's tentatively called Progressive Lenses and is set in a provincial town in the Austro-Hungarian Empire just before the First World War, dealing on an ambitious scale with issues of politics, mysticism and eroticism; it is, says Borchardt, who handles many notable literary writers (including Ian McEwan) "astonishing and fascinating." Bernstein has written literary criticism for the Times Literary Supplement, the Los Angeles Times, the New Republic and others.