Big Nonfiction

Alice Mayhew at S&S won world rights to a new book by Charles Bracelen Flood titled 1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History when John Taylor "Ike" Williams at Kneerim & Williams accepted a pre-auction preemptive bid. Flood will examine Lincoln through the lens of this crucial year, as he faces the potential loss of his party's support due to the war and his position on abolition; searches for a military leader who can match the Confederate commanders; and struggles with his wife's instability and the death of two sons. Flood's most recent book, Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War, was published by FSG in 2005. This new work should pub in spring 2008.

Vanessa Mobley at Penguin Press has preempted Matthew B. Crawford's Shop Class as Soulcraft; Susan Arellano at the Susan Rabiner Literary Agency sold world rights. This is based on a 2006 article of the same name published in the technology journal the New Atlantis, in which Crawford rued the decline of shop class, arguing the merits of manual labor, competence and craftsmanship in this age of information. The article subsequently received a Sidney Award, created by David Brooks at the New York Times to honor the best magazine essays of the year.

Debut Novels

Ecco's Lee Boudreaux won an auction for David Wroblewski's Edgar Sawtelle, a contemporary retelling of Hamlet set in rural Wisconsin; InkWell's Eleanor Jackson sold U.S. rights only. In the book, young Edgar, born mute, forges a special relationship with the dogs his family has bred for generations; when his father dies, Edgar's uncle returns to the farm and Edgar must decide if and how to avenge his father's death. Wroblewski is a Wisconsin native who lives in Colorado and has an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College; publication is scheduled for summer 2008.

Atria's Peter Borland has acquired 27-year-old art crime expert Noah Charney's The Art Thief from agent Lois Wallace, who sold world rights (excluding Spain, where Seix Barral will publish). The novel involves a series of seemingly unconnected art crimes across Europe that are actually part of a master plan. Charney, who holds two M.A. degrees in art history, from the Courtauld Institute and Cambridge, was the subject of a feature article in this past December's New York Times magazine; Atria will publish in fall 2007.

Karen Thomas has acquired Daniel Serrano's Gunmetal Black for her new list at Warner; Jennifer Cayea at Avenue A Literary sold world rights in this two-book deal. The first novel finds a recently paroled gangster returning to his Chicago neighborhood determined to save his best friend from a life of crime. Serrano is a lawyer for New York City; Warner will publish in spring 2008.

Trish Todd at Touchstone has acquired Jack Todd's Sun Going Down from Hilary McMahon at Westwood Creative Artists, who sold U.S. rights. This follows four generations of the author's family in the American West, from the Civil War to the Great Depression, and is inspired by old family diaries and letters that tell the story of an itinerant merchant and gold hunter whose twin sons become horse thieves, then two of the largest landowners in the west. Fiction aside, author and editor both hail from the Nashville area and are in the process of trying to establish a direct link between their families. Jack Todd is the author of one previous work of nonfiction, Desertion (Houghton, 2001); Touchstone will publish in spring 2008.

The Briefing

Pat Strachan at Little, Brown has acquired a new novel by Rose Tremain, her 10th, titled The Road Home. It follows a contemporary Eastern European immigrant through the triumphs and trials of his new life in England; Bill Clegg at William Morris sold U.S. rights.