Six-figure Fiction

In a noteworthy deal for short stories, Marysue Rucci at Simon & Schuster just preempted a "novel in stories," a linked collection by Lesley Dormen called The Best Place to Be. Rucci paid $100,000 for world English rights from agent David McCormick. In the book, comic melancholic Grace Hanford narrates her life of privilege, loss and remorse. Dormen teaches fiction at the Writers Studio in New York. Pub date is spring 2007.

And in another six-figure deal, agent Marly Rusoff sold Crown's Allison McCabe North American rights to Erika Mailman's first novel, titled Hexe. Set in a small German town in 1487, Hexe examines the medieval struggle between Christianity and pagan tradition through the story of a Christian woman on trial for witchcraft. A pub date of fall 2007 is anticipated.

The Week in Preempts

What does 21st-century young America look like? Agent Victoria Sanders has just accepted a preemptive offer for a book that attempts to answer that question through photographs and accompanying essays, Michael Franzini's 100 Young Americans; Sanders sold world rights to Collins Design publisher Marta Schooler. Franzini, a photographer and director who has won two Emmy Awards for his work on MTV, hopes to hit urban, suburban and rural areas in every state, where he will choose participants at random. Collins plans to publish sometime in 2007.

Basic's Lara Heimert has preempted Pulitzer Prize—winner Elliot Jaspin's Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America from agent Amy Rennert in a world rights deal. The book, the culmination of nearly a decade of research in regional archives and census bureaus, presents evidence of ethnic cleansings throughout the U.S. in the period between Reconstruction and the Great Depression, in towns and counties both North and South. A fall 2006 publication is expected, to coincide with a related feature documentary titled Banished.

Oxford's Trilogy

In what publisher Oxford hopes might have significant branding and packaging potential, agent Elyse Cheney has sold North American rights to the final volume in a trilogy on contemporary Christianity by Penn State professor Philip Jenkins to Oxford's Cynthia Read. The book, titled God's Continent: The Coming Religious Struggle in Europe, follows on the heels of Jenkins's successful 2002 The Next Christendom and this fall's forthcoming The New Face of Christianity; projected pub date is fall 2007.


Denise Oswald at Faber and Faber has acquired North American rights to magazine editor Mike Edison's memoir Never Mind the Deadlines from agent Jane Dystel. Edison, a veteran of Hustler, Screw and Penthouse, and who also did a stint as the editor and publisher of stoner bible High Times, will recount his raucous, 20-year wrong-side-of-the-tracks career; no publication date has yet been set.

The Briefing

Tracy Behar at Little, Brown has acquired North American rights to a new book by Dr. Keith Ablow, titled Pain to Power: The Journey to Truth, Love, and the Rest of Your Life, which will guide readers through examining their past in order to build self-esteem; a spring 2007 pub date is expected, and Ablow's syndicated talk show is slated to debut this fall. Agent Richard Pine brokered the deal.... Women's Wear Daily columnist and novelist Kavita Daswani has sold her first YA novel, currently untitled, to Little, Brown's Sangeeta Mehta, via agent Jodie Rhodes; the book will pub in fall 2007 and Rhodes sold North American rights. Daswani's third adult novel, Salaam, Paris (Plume), comes out this summer.