Theroux for Two

Paul Theroux has sold his next two books to longtime publisher Houghton Mifflin; editor-in-chief Eamon Dolan bought North American rights from Andrew Wylie. The first book, Mother, is a dark comic novel about a large family ruled by their domineering mother; an excerpt has already appeared in the New Yorker. The second is a travel book tentatively titled The Cold World; it will recount a journey through the planet's northernmost outposts, including Greenland, Lapland and Siberia. Houghton already has under contract an untitled travel book by Theroux retracing some of the route he covered for The Great Railway Bazaar.

Evolutionary Evidence

Viking's Wendy Wolf has preempted Jerry Coyne's Fear Winged the Birds: The Case for Evolution; Max Brockman at Brockman Inc. sold North American rights in a six-figure deal. Coyne, a professor at the University of Chicago, wants to shift the evolutionary discussion from creationism and intelligent design back to the evidence for evolution by natural selection. The book will bring together threads of modern work in genetics, paleontology, geology and molecular biology to provide a case for Darwin's original theory. Coyne is coauthor of the academic title Speciation; he has also been published in the New York Timesand the New Republic.


Crown's Heather Jackson has preempted world rights to Howard Dully's MyLobotomy from Gary Morrisat the David Black Agency. Resulting from an NPR All Things Considered broadcast that generated more listener response than any other prior piece, the book will document the 56-year-old Dully's life following his lobotomy at age 12, and will explore the scientific and cultural history of this once popular psychosurgery and its pioneer, Walter Freeman. Charles Fleming will co-write the book and Crown will publish in fall 2007.

Education & Motivation

Agent Ted Weinstein accepted a six-figure bid from Broadway's Charlie Conrad to conclude an auction for world rights to Richard Whitmire's Boy Troubles: Rescuing Boys from Their Academic Slide. The book will build on Whitmire's recent New Republic piece that questioned the conventional wisdom about what is causing the crisis in boys' education, identified reasons for this decline and offered solutions that are already working in several schools around the country. Whitmire is an editorial board member at USA Today. Broadway plans to publish in time for the start of the school year in fall 2008.

Warner's Rick Wolff has acquired world rights to a new book by Duke basketball coach MikeKrzyzewski. Beyond Basketball: Coach K's Keywords for Success will detail Krzyzewski's personal philosophy on winning, losing, discipline, accountability, leadership, sportsmanship and more. The book will be crashed for publication this coming fall on the Warner Business Books list and will be co-written by Krzyzewski's daughter Jamie K. Spatola. Wolff made the deal directly with the author, whose previous book, Leading with the Heart, was a bestseller for Warner in 2000.

Inside the Music

Harmony's John Glusmanhas acquired world rights, from agent Kenneth Wapner, to JonathanGould's The World Turned Upside Down, a social and cultural history of the Beatles, their music and their phenomenal success during the 1960s, with a particular emphasis on the group's impact and influence in England and America. A fall 2007 publication is planned.

Little, Brown's Michael Pietsch bought world rights to Nick Patoski's Willie, Texas, an in-depth biography of Willie Nelson and, by association, the story of modern-day Texas, from agent James Fitzgerald; the book will be published in coordination with Nelson's 75th birthday in 2008 and launched at Austin's South by Southwest festival, which Nelson helped to establish in 1987.