The kind of creative partnership that has developed between Cuban-born novelist Mayra Montero and her celebrated translator from the Spanish, Edith Grossman, is not exactly common in publishing. In fact, it is so close that when Montero recently decided to make a two-book deal with Farrar, Straus & Giroux rather than her usual publisher, HarperCollins and its Ecco imprint, Grossman agreed to move with her (for her books only), even though Ecco published Grossman's widely admired and highly successful new translation of Don Quixote. The deal was negotiated with FSG's John Glusman, long an admirer of Montero's work, by agent Susan Bergholz, who stressed that the author was not unhappy with her treatment at HC, but that the house didn't want one of the titles in the desired two-book deal. It consists of The Captain of the Sleepers, already available in Spanish, and a book tentatively titled Alamandra, about Havana when it was virtually run by the Mafia, before Castro. The deal was for U.S and Canadian rights; Montero's Spanish publisher, Tusquets, has foreign.