John le Carré has moved from Scribner to Little, Brown for his new novel, Absolute Friends, the story of a relationship that survives the Cold War and continues into the present. Michael Pietsch bought U.S. rights from U.K. agent Bruce Hunter at David Higham, and will publish in January.... Putnam's Carole Baron signed for world rights on the story of winning racehorse Funny Cide and his picturesque owners, trainers and jockey, by Sally Jenkins, who penned biker Lance Armstrong's bestseller; Baron bought the project from Esther Newberg at ICM for next April.... Veteran SF author Arthur C. Clarke is doing one more; he signed with Ballantine's Shelley Shapiro for a mid six figures to write The Last Theorem, about a genius mathematician who solves Fermat's Theorem. Russell Galen was the agent for the North American rights deal.... Al Gore's daughter Kristin Gore has sold a first novel, via agent Andrew Wylie, to Miramax's Jonathan Burnham. It's called Sammy's Hill and is described as a Washington, D.C. Bridget Jones; it was a world rights deal.... Random's Kate Medina bought a book about life and literature called A Strong West Wind by Pulitzer-winning Boston Globe book critic Gail Caldwell. This was a six-figure North American deal, with agent Lane Zachary.... Penguin's Brett Kelly won an auction for paperback rights to two books by British-born Jacqueline Winspear, published in hardcover by Soho Press. The first, just out, is Maisie Dobbs, about a woman who sets up as a detective in 1920s London; the second will continue the series. The author's agent, Amy Rennert on the Coast, reports strong movie interest.... Nancy Paulsen at Putnam Children's Books paid a mid six figures for three children's books by English vicar G.P. Taylor, the first of which, called Shadowmancer, was a big hit in the U.K. earlier this year. Agent Nancy Gallt made the U.S. sale.... Harper's Terry Karten bought a novel called Cuneiform, by Iranian author-in-exile Kader Abdolah, from Dutch publisher De Geus, by way of rights agent Linda Michaels. It's described as a father-son story that also surveys current conditions in Iran; it was a bestseller in Holland, where the author now lives.