Auction Winners

Reagan Arthur at Little, Brown has acquired North American rights to two books by New Yorker staffer Field Maloney in an auction conducted by Zoe Pagnamenta at PFD NY. The first book, Crush: A Clerk's Tale, will combine memoir and reporting to tell the story of American wine from the colonial era to the modern day and from the East to the West coasts. Maloney, who once had a job lugging cases of rare wine for a discount liquor outlet, plans to immerse himself in all aspects of wine culture, from working in a Napa winery to drinking with the wine buyer at the Olive Garden. No pub date yet.

Ballantine's Susan Mercandetti beat out three houses for world rights to The Traveling Necklace: A Story of 118 Diamonds, 13 Women, Sisterhood and Transformation by the Women of Jewelia and Cheryl Jarvis; the six-figure deal was negotiated by David Kuhn at Kuhn Projects. The Women of Jewelia are 13 women in their 50s and 60s in Ventura, Calif., who in 2004 collectively bought a 15.24-carat diamond necklace they dubbed "Jewelia" after Julia Child, who lived nearby and died shortly before the necklace's purchase. The jewelry is rotated among the 13 women, who each wear it for four weeks a year before passing it to the next woman. Jarvis, the author of Marriage Sabbatical, will explore the personal story of each woman in relation to the larger cultural and sociological issues the necklace has raised. Likely pub date in spring 2008.

Dan Lazar at Writers House just closed a deal with Algonquin's Chuck Adams for a novel by Oscar Bennett titled Land of Nod. Bennett's second novel is about an African-American teen who accidentally shoots his brother, blames it on a gang of nonexistent white boys, and the fallout of that lie. The auction for this book included adult and YA editors; Adams bought North American rights and likely publication is spring 2008.

Hot Nonfiction

Norton's Amy Cherry has acquired world English rights to a new book by bestselling Dogs Never Lie About Love author Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, titled The Face on Your Plate: Reflections on the Health of Humans, Animals and a Shared Planet, in a deal negotiated by agent Miriam Altshuler. Masson will address moral, personal and ethical issues raised when deciding which foods end up on our plate. Norton plans a spring 2009 publication.

Famed chronicler of the drug trade (Snowblind, Smokescreen) Robert Sabbag has signed with Viking's Wendy Wolf to write an untitled book springing from his experience as one of nine survivors of a 1979 plane crash on Cape Cod; Jennifer Rudolph Walshat William Morris made the six-figure North American deal. Through research and interviews with the survivors and their families, Sabbag will reconstruct the event that divides his own life into before and after, and explore the ways in which the present is haunted by the past. Pub date yet to be determined.

Courtney Hodell at FSG has acquired North American rights to Adam Phillips's More or Less from agent Amy Rennert on behalf of the U.K.'s Felicity Rubinstein. Phillips's 12th book will be an exploration of the concept of excess and why, in a time of such plenty, we are often tormented by the thought that our lives are not full enough. It will combine contemporary examples from life and literature with case studies from Phillips's practice as a psychoanalyst. Pub date will be sometime in 2010.

George Witte at St. Martin's bought world rights to a memoir by Jason Peter titled Hero of the Underground; Michael Murphy at Queen Literary Agency made the deal. Peter was a high school football star, All-American at the University of Nebraska and first-round NFL draft pick who, after a series of injuries, fell into painkiller addiction, then crack and alcohol, and finally heroin. The book will recount his journey from cheering stadiums to New York and Hollywood junkie netherworlds; no pub date has been set.

Alice Hoffman to Shaye Areheart

Harmony's John Glusman has acquired two new novels and a collection of interconnected short stories by Alice Hoffman for publication by Shaye Areheart Books; agent Elaine Markson sold world rights. Hoffman is the author of numerous bestsellers for adults and young adults, including Practical Magic, Here on Earth and Skylight Confessions, coming from Little, Brown in January. The first book in this new deal, a novel, is scheduled for a January 2008 publication.

The Briefing

Ryan Boudinot, whose story collection The Littlest Hitler was one of PW's Best Books of the Year, has sold his first novel, Sperm and Egg, to Amy Scheibe at Counterpoint, via PJ Mark at McCormick & Williams. The novel is about a man who is contacted by his first love 20 years later when she is writing a memoir about the strange events of their childhood. Pub date is April 2008.