Houghton Mifflin editorial director Eamon Dolan made a sudden preemptive offer to end a frantic auction among 10 publishers for a new book by

Dr. Jerome Groopman (author of the bestselling The Anatomy of Hope). The Harvard Medical School professor and New Yorker contributor is writing

How Doctors Think, the first effort at book length to examine all the factors that go into the doctor-patient relationship from the physician's side. It will be accomplished by a mixture of new research and reportage and by drawing on Dr. Groopman's own experience. The auction was conducted by

Suzanne Gluck at William Morris, who said she and her client were especially receptive to Dolan's surprise offer because their meeting at Houghton, the last before the auction, had led to "love at first sight." The deal was for hard-soft North American rights, and publication is planned for 2008.