New from Chabon
Longtime Random House author Michael Chabon has written a new genre novel titled Gentlemen of the Road, which will be published by Ballantine's Del Rey imprint; Betsy Mitchell bought world English rights from agent Mary Evans. Currently being serialized in the New York Times Magazine, the book recounts the story of two wandering adventurers who get caught up in the schemes and battles that follow a bloody coup in the great medieval Jewish empire of the Khazars. Gentlemen will be illustrated throughout with black-and-white drawings by Gary Gianni; pub date is this November.
Elsewhere at RHPG, Will Murphy acquired an untitled work of nonfiction by Wall Street Journal reporter Julia Angwin; Todd Shuster and Lane Zachary at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth sold world rights. Angwin will examine the swift rise and deep cultural impact of the social networking site MySpace.
Barker, Faulks to D'day
Booker Prize winner and Ghost Road author Pat Barker is moving to Doubleday for two new novels; Bill Thomas and Gerry Howard bought U.S. rights from agent Gillon Aitken. The first, titled Life Class, is about a group of students who meet in art school in the spring of 1914. Pub date is spring 2008.
In another deal brokered by Aitken, bestselling author of Birdsong and Charlotte GraySebastian Faulks will move to Doubleday for a new novel, titled Engleby; Deb Futter bought U.S. rights. This is about a disturbed young man's obsession with a woman who is ultimately murdered.
Touchstone's Amanda Patten has preempted world English rights to standup comic and slam poet Kyria Abraham's I'm Perfect, You're Doomed: Tales of a Jehovah's Witness Upbringing; Laurie Abkemeier at DeFiore and Co. made the sale. This comedic memoir will describe growing up as a proselytizing "Pioneer" of the Lord, from handing out Watchtower instead of candy on Halloween to calling for the fiery destruction of enemies, and the author's eventual dis-fellowship from the only life she ever knew.
In her first acquisition for Counterpoint, Maris Kreizman bought world rights to R. M. Kinder's An Absolute Gentleman via Mollie Glick at Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. Written from the perspective of English professor, struggling author and serial killer Arthur Blume, the novel is loosely based on the author's real-life relationship with a convicted murderer. Pub is fall 2007.
Sally Kim at Shaye Areheart Books bought world rights to Amy Shearn's How Far Is the Ocean from Here via PJ Mark at McCormick & Williams. This is the story of a surrogate mother who panics and flees Chicago for a roadside motel in the southwest, where she insinuates herself into the lives of the motel owners and their disabled teenage son. Tentative pub date is spring 2008.
Berkley's Natalee Rosenstein has acquired North American rights to Kimberly Scott's legal thriller Undertow, the first in a series, via agent Harvey Klinger. Just published in Australia under a pseudonym, this will be Berkley's lead title in August 2008.
War in the Skies
Emily Loose at the Free Press has acquired North American rights to Lynn Spencer's Touching History: 9/11 from the Air, via agent Jane Dystel. Spencer, a pilot and certified flight instructor, will tell the story of the men and women who found themselves thrust into the frontlines of a war in the skies, from the pilots in the air that day to the air traffic controllers and the FAA. Projected pub is sometime in 2008.
Ecco's Dan Halpern, along with Emily Takoudes, who is now managing the imprint's food list, have acquired North American rights to Liz Thorpe's Real American Cheese, the definitive guide to specialty American cheese; agent Angela Miller made the deal.