New Roots for Scheibe

Newly minted Counterpoint executive editor Amy Scheibe has made her first acquisition for the house, preempting a memoir by comedian Sarah Thyre titled Dark at the Roots. Scheibe paid six figures for world rights in a deal with Gernert's Erin Hosier. Thyre, an actress whose TV appearances include Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Comedy Central's Strangers with Candy and Upright Citizens Brigade, has also performed her own work on National Public Radio as well as maintained a humor 'zine, Thyrezine, for many years. Her first book will describe growing up in a "terminally eccentric" family in southeastern Louisiana; the manuscript already carries with it raves from David Sedaris and David Rakoff. Publication is expected in spring 2007.

New House for Slouka

Mark Slouka, author of the novel God's Fool and story collection Lost Lake, has sold a new novel, The Visible World, to Houghton's Anton Mueller, who acquired North American rights in a preempt from agent Denise Shannon. Slouka, a former client of Bill Clegg's, was previously published by Knopf. His new novel takes on the story of Reinhard Heydrich, a high-ranking member of the Third Reich known as the "butcher of Prague," whose assassination is a little-known episode of WWII history. The main thread of the narrative involves a Czech orphan who uncovers his parents' role in the killing. Slouka is also a contributing editor at Harper's; publication is set for spring 2007.

Top Moments in Nascar

Warner's Colin Fox has acquired world rights to a book and DVD collection titled Speed, Guts and Glory: 100 Unforgettable Moments in Nascar History from Sloan Harris at ICM. Bestselling author and radio veteran Joe Garner, whose other successful multimedia projects include And the Crowd Goes Wild and We Interrupt this Broadcast, will chronicle landmark moments in auto racing, from the triumphant (Richard Petty's record-setting 200th career win) to the poignant (Dale Earnhardt's death). Four-time Nascar Cup champ Jeff Gordon will host the correlating footage on an accompanying interactive DVD; publication date will be fall 2006.

Two Debuts at Auction

Riverhead's Megan Lynch and Susan Petersen Kennedy acquired North American rights to a debut novel by Ellis Avery, titled The Teahouse Fire, in an auction conducted by agent Jean Naggar. The novel explores the shifting cultural ground of late 19th—century Japan through the story of an orphaned European girl adopted into the household of the Japanese emperor's Master of Tea, whose daughter becomes the first female Master of Tea. Avery, 33, teaches creative writing at Columbia; fall 2006 is the expected pub date. And Diane Bartoli at Artists Literary Group auctioned world rights to former Paramount scout Justin Evans's A Good and Happy Child, a Southern gothic literary thriller, to Sally Kim at Shaye Areheart/Harmony.

Faber to Sing the Blues

Paul Elie at FSG has acquired novelist and New York Times editor Dana Jennings's Sing Me Back Home—Love, Death and Country Music for the house's Faber and Faber imprint, from agent Paul Bresnick. In the book, Jennings, who grew up in a rural, working-class town where the music that permeated the kitchen and the pick-up truck was the classic country of 1945—1970, will explore the larger cultural meaning of country music, arguably America's music more than any other. Elie acquired world English rights; publication is slated for fall 2007.

The Briefing

Barbara Murphy at MIT Press acquired world rights to Catherine Brady's Enigmatic Coda: Elizabeth Blackburn and the Study of Telomeres; the biography of the controversial molecular biologist was represented by agent Caron Knauer.