Broadway's Golden Girl
Emmy and Golden Globe winner and The Golden Girls star Rue McClahanan will write a memoir, to be titled My First Five Husbands... and the Ones Who Got Away, which Broadway's Ann Campbell acquired in a North American rights deal with agent Wendy Sherman. The book will be a candid chronicle of the Oklahoma-born actress's life, from her arrival in New York in 1957 to her time in Hollywood, from her first television role on All in the Family to the Golden Girls era. It will detail the challenges she's faced achieving happiness and creative fulfillment and the lessons learned through five marriages. Broadway plans an April 2007 publication.
Your Brain on Exercise
Little, Brown's Tracy Behar has preempted a new book by John J. Ratey, M.D., titled Exercise and the Brain; Jill Kneerim at Kneerim & Williams sold North American rights. Ratey, a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School, gathers details from the past 15 years of cutting-edge brain research to show the powerful effects of exercise on stress, anxiety, ADD, addiction, aging and even our ability to think. Ratey is coauthor of the bestseller Driven to Distraction. A 2008 publication is planned.
Jo Ann Miller at Basic has preempted North American rights to University of Utah scientists Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending's The New Human Past: The Promise of Evolutionary Genomics from John Brockman at Brockman Inc. The book will argue that evolutionary change in response to natural selection occurs more quickly than was previously thought, and can result in certain populations gaining a genetic advantage. The authors' conclusions, first reported in the Journal of Biosocial Science, focused on the intellectual superiority of Ashkenazi Jews and have provoked much attention in the media, including a recent cover story in New Yorkmagazine. Basic will publish in fall 2007.
Harcourt's Rebecca Saletan has acquired North American rights to an untitled book on polar bears by Jill Fredston from agent Stuart Krichevsky. Fredston, an Anchorage-based avalanche expert, will explore how species adapt or fail to survive through the story of polar bears, tracking their possible fate in a changing natural world that has diminished their sea ice habitat. Fredston is the author of several books, including Snowstruck: In the Grip of Avalanches(Harcourt, 2005) and Rowing to Latitude: Journeys Along the Arctic's Edge (North Point, 2001). Harcourt plans a fall 2009 publication.
Liza Dawson recently wrapped up a seven-house auction for Mary Ann Shaffer's debut novel, TheGuernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society; Susan Kamil at Dial won North American rights. Set on the island of Guernsey in 1946, the novel describes how a small group of neighbors survived the Nazi occupation by meeting over potato peel pie to discuss classic novels; after the war, a London writer discovers the lives of these islanders and through them, the drama in her own life. Shaffer is a 70-year-old North Carolina librarian.
In a preempt Crown's Allison McCabe has acquired a historical novel, Nefertiti, and an untitled second book by first-time author Michelle Moran; AnnaGhosh at Scovil Chichak Galen sold North American rights. Nefertiti will follow two daughters of a political family; one is destined to rule Egypt, the other must survive the political fallout. Moran is a high school English teacher in California.
Anjali Singh at Houghton just bought a literary mystery by Zoe Ferraris titledFinding Nouf from Julie Barer at Barer Literary. Set in Saudi Arabia, this debut is about a faithful Muslim who sets out to solve the mystery behind the death of his friend's sister, and ends up finding his religious beliefs challenged. Ferraris recently received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia. HM holds North American rights, and auctions are underway in Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands.