Veteran novelist Herman Wouk, at 87, just signed a new contract with Little, Brown publisher Michael Pietsch. It's for a book called A Hole in Texas, described as a "serious comedy" involving science, politics and the entertainment world, and Pietsch bought it from agent Sarah Wouk at BSW Literary Agency; Bill Phillips will be its editor.... A biography of the battling Hollywood screenwriter brothers Herman and Joseph Mankiewicz was won at auction by Knopf's Vicky Wilson. The author is writer, filmmaker and TV producer Nick Davis, and Wilson got North American rights from Bill Clegg at Burnes & Clegg.... Veteran agent Esther Newberg of ICM is getting an honorary degree from alma mater Wheaton College May 17, presented by TV celeb Lesley Stahl, who was in her class.... Agent-in-Paris Susanna Lea has sold Rachel Kahan at Crown a bestselling trilogy from France called Heroines of the Bible; the first of the three books by Marek Halter, about Sarah, is a current French bestseller, and the series has already sold at auction to Bantam in the U.K. and to Sony in Japan. Offers are in hand from Germany, Brazil, Spain, Italy and Portugal.... A book called The Multi-0rgasmic Woman fills out the series of orgasmic titles at Rodale, where executive editor Stephanie Tade bought it from Heide Lange at Sanford Greenburger; the authors, who blend Eastern wisdom with Western medical know-how in their presentation, are Taoist scholar/teacher Mantak Chia and sexuality authority Rachel Carlton Abrams, M.D.... Lastly, an odd but not entirely unrelated one: Peter Steinberg at JCA Literary sold a book called The Straight Girl's Guide to Sleeping with Chicks by Jen Sincero, who has experimented with it herself, to Amanda Patten at Fireside/S&S for North American rights. "There's a lot of it going around," says the agent. Who knew?
Volume 250 Issue 18 05/05/2003