We all know the sinking feeling provoked by the automated words "Your call is important to us," and Canadian scholar and journalist Laura Penny has made that the title of a new book, subtitled "The Truth About Bullshit"; it examines the many hypocrisies and pretenses offered by corporations and the media to a docile public. Rachel Klayman at Crown won an auction for the book, conducted by rights director Marilyn Biderman at Toronto's McClelland & Stewart and will publish next year.... Another example of corporate deviousness is the history of leaded gasoline, the subject of The Secret History of Lead by investigative reporter Jamie Kitman, which traces how General Motors and Standard Oil, among others, continued to market hazardous leaded gasoline, then, when it was banned here, continued to sell it overseas. Geoff Kloske at S&S bought world rights from the author's agent and lawyer, Leon Friedman.... A book by the mother of five-time Tour de France winner (and bestselling author) Lance Armstrong was bought for Broadway by the cyclist's editor, Stacy Creamer. It's called No Mountain High Enough and is the story of how Linda Armstrong Kelly raised Lance, against huge obstacles, as a poor teenage single mother. Creamer bought world rights from Dallas agent David Hale Smith for six figures, for the book to be co-written with journalist Joni Rogers.... Kate Medina at Random made a two-book deal for a story collection and novel (in that order) by young Chinese-American author Yiyun Li, who has a story in the current New Yorker and is studying at the Iowa Writers Workshop. It was a North American rights deal with Richard Abate at ICM.
Volume 250 Issue 51 12/22/2003