Byrne by Bike

Talking Heads cofounder David Byrne has sold a new book, Bicycle Diaries, to Paul Slovak at Viking; new Wylie agent Scott Moyers sold North American rights. Byrne, for whom cycling has been a principal means of transportation in New York City since the early 1980s, has also pedaled around many of the world's major cities. In chapters set in London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Paris, Belgrade, Manila and San Francisco, Byrne will muse on topics ranging from visual art to globalization, offering a panoramic view of urban life from the bike seat. Next month, Byrne is headlining a New Yorker festival event titled “How New Yorkers Ride Bikes.” Viking will publish the book in 2009.

Debut Fiction

In her first acquisition for Holt, Helen Atsma bought U.S. rights to Catherine O'Flynn's first novel, What Was Lost, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize and the Guardian First Book Award. This literary mystery about a missing young girl is also a portrait of a changing community over two decades. Agent Lucy Luck made the deal, and Holt will publish in spring 2008 as a trade paperback original.

Crown's Allison McCabe bought U.S. rights to Elizabeth Garner's gothic The Ingenious Edgar Jones via Zoe Pagnamenta at PFD NY on behalf of Sarah Ballard at PFD UK. Set in mid-19th-century Oxford, the novel concerns a boy whose magical metalworking ability attracts the attention of a maverick professor and places him at the heart of a debate that threatens to tear apart the university.

Miracle Mets

ESPN commentator Jeremy Schaap has sold a new, untitled book on the 1969 baseball season to Susan Canavan at Houghton via agent Scott Waxman, who sold North American rights. Schaap, also the author of Cinderella Man and Triumph, will focus on the World Series battle between the best team in baseball, the Orioles, and what had been the worst of the worst, the Mets. Houghton's planned pub date will coincide with the 40th anniversary of this clash.

Liz and Dick

Jonathan Burnham at HarperCollins has preempted world rights to Vanity Fair contributing editor Sam Kashner's More than Famous, to be the definitive biography of the marriages between Elizabeth Taylor and Sir Richard Burton. David Kuhn made the deal and Rakesh Satyal will edit. The biography will draw on previous and new interviews with Taylor and with friends and relatives of the couple, as well as the Burton family's papers, to bring to life this love story and pinpoint how the Taylor-Burton relationship represented a turning point in the culture of celebrity. Harper plans a spring 2009 publication.

Deals for Dean, Dungy

Zoey Dean, author of the bestselling teen series The A-List, has sold a new series for tweens to launch in summer 2008; Lexa Hillyer at Razorbill bought world English rights to four books from Lydia Wills at Paradigm on behalf of Alloy Entertainment. The A-List is published by Little, Brown.

Tony Dungy, former NFL player and currently head coach of the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, has made a deal for an inspirational picture book titled You Can Do It; Dee Ann Grand at Howard Kids/Little Simon Inspirations, an imprint of S&S Children's, bought world rights in a deal negotiated by D.J. Snell at the Legacy agency. Dungy's memoir Quiet Strength was a #1 New York Times bestseller.

The Briefing

Chelsea Cain'sHeartsick, which debuted yesterday at #8 on the New York Times bestseller list, has been optioned to DeMann Entertainment by Nick Harris of RWSH in association with Joy Harris at the Joy Harris Literary Agency.