Cuban Noir

T.J. English is something of a gangster specialist, having published two books on various aspects of the Irish-American mobster, most recently Paddy Whacked (Regan Books, 2005), as well as a look at Asian-American organized crime in Born to Kill (Morrow, 1995). He now turns his attention to Cuba, in The Havana Mob: Gangsters, Gamblers, Showgirls and Revolutionaries in 1950s Cuba, which Regan's Cal Morgan acquired in an auction involving four other publishers, from agent Nat Sobel. Morgan paid six figures for North American rights.

Using much untapped material from the Cuban National Archives, only opened to foreign journalists in 2002, English will tell the story of the mob's infiltration of pre-Castro Havana, its casinos, nightclubs, racetracks and prostitution rackets, and how mob activity in Cuba ultimately collided with Castro's revolutionary machinations, to ruinous effect. Havana is tentatively set for fall 2007.

The Skinny on Hypnosis

Broadway's Ann Campbell has acquired North American rights, at auction, to Dr. Ronald Glassman's The Alpha Solution from agent Brian DeFiore in a six-figure deal. Glassman, a leading researcher in and practitioner of the use of self-hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming to solve weight issues, will demonstrate how anyone can access the mind's "alpha state" to change subconscious patterns of overeating. Glassman, who has a large following among Wall Streeters and professional athletes, is the director and founder of the Ivy League Clinical Hypnosis Center in New Jersey; the book will be written with former Hyperion and Villard editor Mollie Doyle with publication tentatively set for spring 2007.

The Puritan Diaries

In yet another auction last week, Norton's Robert Weil prevailed over editors from Knopf, Yale and Oxford for a first book by Yale historian Allegra Hogan titled This Little World: A Tale of Two Manhoods in Old New England. Weil acquired North American rights from agent Elyse Cheney. The book will tell the story of a lay New Englander and his bondsman, using the diary of Joshua Hempstead, which spans a 50-year period, to investigate ordinary manhood in early America.

The Briefing

Holt editor-in-chief Jennifer Barth and publisher John Sterling have signed the first two books in a new series of literary thrillers by this year's Booker Prize winner John Banville; Barth and Sterling bought North American rights, at auction, from Ed Victor. The first of the two will be published in winter 2007, and both books will be released under the pseudonym Benjamin Black.... Bloomsbury's Colin Dickerman has acquired world English rights via preempt to University of Manchester classics scholar Ibrahim Amin's The Monster Hunter's Handbook, a tongue-in-cheek guide to hunting mythical monsters, from agent William Clark; Clark also sold world rights to Hannah Keeley's Total Mom Makeover: Six Weeks to Completely Transform and Radically Improve Your Home, Health, Family and Life to Tracy Behar at Little, Brown; the Internet personality will explain how frustrated mothers can most effectively design their lives.... Judith Sherman-Wolin explains how you can Muscle Your Way Through Menopause, maintaining beauty and strength through exercise; Marnie Cochran at Da Capo acquired world rights from agent Kirsten Manges for fall 2006 publication.... Da Capo's Wendy Holt bought world rights to Your Bipolar Child: Finding the Equator When the North and South Poles Rule by Rosalie Greenberg, M.D., from Molly Lyons at Joelle Delbourgo Associates. Fall 2006 pub is planned.