Search and Rescue
Concluding a five-day, 12-publisher auction, Little, Brown's Reagan Arthur has acquired North American rights to Kate Braestrup's Finding the Body from agent Sally Wofford-Girand. After the unexpected death of her husband, a state trooper, Braestrup took up his dream of becoming a minister, and this book recounts her experiences serving as the chaplain on search-and-rescue missions for the Maine State Warden Service. Along the way, she will address questions large and small about God, grief and grace. Braestrup, who has four children, is affiliated with the First Universalist Church in Rockland, Maine, and is the author of a novel, Onion. Little, Brown will publish in 2007.
Actress Kathleen Turner will write her autobiography, titled Take the Lead, Lady!, which Springboard's Karen Murgolo has acquired in a world rights deal, at auction from lawyer and literary agent Karen Gantz Zahler (who recently handled Alec Baldwin's book deal). Turner will discuss her path to stardom, revealing many private struggles and triumphs for the first time, and tell how her atypical career and her activism have helped her to persevere in the face of health and family issues. The book will be written in collaboration with Gloria Feldt, the author of two previous books and the former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Springboard plans a fall 2007 publication.
Design and lifestyle guru Bruce Littlefield has just inked a three-book deal with Marta Schooler and Joe Tessitore at Collins for a series currently titled American Fun, which will capture objects, places and events that are peculiarly American, from lawn ornaments to birthday parties. Each book's format will incorporate photographs. Littlefield is the author of Airstream Living (Collins) and the owner of two successful upstate New York restaurants as well as a disco-themed laundromat. Zachary Shuster Harmsworth's Todd Shuster sold world rights, and Collins will release the first book in 2007.
Real Estate and Cars
Houghton's Amanda Cook has preempted North American rights to architectural historian Mitchell Schwarzer's Home Egonomics, which will provide historical, architectural, psychological, sociological and economic context to America's obsession with real estate; Diane Bartoli at Artists Literary Group made the sale, and Houghton looks to publish in 2008. Susan Canavan has acquired North American rights to A.J. Baime's A Race to the Death: Henry Ford II, Enzo Ferrari and Their Perilous Quest for Speed and Glory, the story of the Ford Motor Company's unprecedented victory over Enzo Ferrari at the Le Mans race in 1966; agent Scott Waxman made the sale.
Two More for Ansay
Manette Ansay, whose novel Vinegar Hill was a bestselling Oprah book club selection, has sold two new novels to Claire Wachtel at Morrow (who is about to publish an Ansay novel, Blue Water, this May [PW, Mar. 27]) via Gelfman Schneider's Deborah Schneider. The first, The Confessions of Joseph Fremantle, is a historical novel based on the true story of a woman in the 1830s who went to sea as a man. The second, My Father's House, is about the love triangle of Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms; both these books mark a departure from the Midwestern landscapes and rural concerns that have characterized her previous novels. This was a North American rights deal.