A book about how a woman, once a privileged member of Iraqi society, survived imprisonment under Iraq's Saddam Hussein, was acquired for Dutton by senior editor Laurie Chittenden, who will publish it as soon as October, with a New American Library paperback to follow. She bought it, in a hotly contested auction, from agent Liza Dawson for world rights (except the U.K.), plus first serial and audio. It is Mayada, Daughter of Iraq: A True Story of One Woman's Survival under Saddam Hussein by Jean Sasson, who wrote the bestselling Princess, published by Morrow 11 years ago. The new book tells how Mayada, a mother of two and a former journalist with Al-Jazeera, was incarcerated in a small cell with 17 other women; it also tells the stories of her fellow inmates. Mayada, who now lives in Jordan, speaks fluent English and will tour for the book in the U.S.
Another recent buy on the seismic events of recent months is The Interrogators' War, an inside account by a senior U.S. interrogator of the questioning of suspected al-Qaeda prisoners in Afghanistan after the war there. It will describe the urgency with which the men were questioned, to forestall another possible terrorist attack on the U.S., and will be co-written with Greg Miller of the Los Angeles Times, working with the anonymous American official. Little, Brown's Geoff Shandler bought the property from Washington agent Rafe Sagalyn in a major deal for world rights.