Debut Preempts

Hyperion's Pamela Dorman has preempted a memoir by Kelly Corrigan titled The Middle Place for her new Voice imprint; Andrea Barzvi at ICM sold North American rights for significant six figures. This is a coming-of-age story about a woman who loved being a girl, and the things that finally made her grow up. Shifting between scenes from her childhood and her adult experiences with illness, Corrigan explores the "middle place" between the two life stages and how one makes the leap. Voice plans a spring 2008 publication.

In her first acquisition at Putnam, Peternelle van Arsdale has preempted Rebecca Johnson's first novel, And Sometimes Why, in a world rights deal with Kim Witherspoon at Inkwell. The novel is the story of how a casual decision made at the breakfast table sets off a chain of events that changes a family forever. Johnson is a contributing editor at Vogue whose admiration for van Arsdale's recent bestseller at Hyperion, J.R. Moehringer's The Tender Bar, played a significant role in closing the deal with Putnam. A 2008 publication is planned, with the trade paperback to follow a year later from Plume.

Charles Spicer at St. Martin's has preempted world rights to a first novel by Bill Floyd titled Behind the Dark; agent Thomas Colchie negotiated the deal. This work of suspense is narrated by the wife of a convicted serial killer who must save herself and their young son from an ambiguous game of cat-and-mouse when the father of one of her husband's victims begins to stalk her. At Frankfurt, rights were preempted in Japan and the Netherlands. St. Martin's Minotaur will publish in winter 2008.

Shteyngart Back to RH

Agent Denise Shannon has just wrapped up a new deal with Random's Dan Menaker for Gary Shteyngart's third, untitled novel; Menaker bought world rights. Set in near-future New York, the book has a love story at its center and will take as its themes mortality, immigration, materialism, information culture and daily threats to contemplative life in a world that knows too much but thinks too little. No pub date yet, but Shteyngart will aim to deliver mid-2008. Random published Shteyngart's Absurdistan this past May.

In another deal negotiated by Shannon, Vintage/Anchor associate publicity director Sloane Crosley has sold her first book, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, to Jennifer Pooley at William Morrow, who bought North American rights. Crosley's book of humorous essays is about the glamour of inadequacy—renting herself out as a bridesmaid; being the Virgin Mary's understudy; staking out her own apartment. Crosley, 28, has been published in the New York Times, Playboy, the Village Voice and Black Book; she's also working on a novel. Tentative Morrow pub date is fall 2007.

Industrial Warning

Agent Jane Dystel has just sold North American rights to Dan Fagin'sToms Riverto Ann Harris at Bantam. Likened to A Civil Action, the book will focus on one family's battle to expose the harm caused by industrial waste in their New Jersey town. The book will also provide insight into the science and politics behind cancer clusters, and the ongoing efforts of researchers and scientists to prove the connection between environmental factors and high levels of disease in places like Toms River. Fagin is a journalism professor at NYU; Bantam plans a fall 2009 publication.

The Briefing

Viking's Clare Ferraro has acquired U.S. rights to the next two novels by How I Live Now author Meg Rosoff via Catherine Clarke at Felicity Bryan; Molly Barton will edit. The first is titled The Dark Ages and will be published in early 2008.