Batchelor to S&G
Cindy Spiegel at Spiegel & Grau has preempted a new book by former Riverhead author Stephen Batchelor, to be called Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist; Anne Edelstein made the North American rights sale. This will be a personal and historical look at who the Buddha really was, inspired by Batchelor's interpretation of the Pali Canon, the first written record of the Buddha's life. Spiegel previously worked with Batchelor at Riverhead, where he published his last three books, most recently Living with the Devil.
Ellen Archer and Pamela Dorman at Voice bought North American rights to Katherine Ellison's Hotheads: A Mother and Son's Quest to Master Focus in a Distracted World; Michelle Tessler made the sale. In the book, part memoir and part scientific investigation, Ellison will parse the meaning of an attention deficit disorder diagnosis in a culture that thrives on e-mail, and examine through interviews with experts as well as personal trial-and-error the best ways to cope with scattered attention. Ellison is a Pulitzer Prize—winning journalist whose previous book was The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes You Smarter. Tentative pub is May 2010.
Archer and Dorman also acquired North American rights to two new books by Lauren Groff, whose debut, The Monsters of Templeton, is coming from Voice in early 2008. The first is a story collection tentatively titled Delicate Edible Birds, to pub in early 2009, and the second is a novel about a utopian community, tentatively titled Arcadia, to pub the following year. Bill Clegg made the sale.
Basic's Amanda Moon bought North American rights to a new, untitled book on cyberintimacy and cybersolitude by psychologist and MIT professor Sherry Turkle via JohnBrockman and Katinka Matson. In the book, based on 10 years of research into cyberculture, robots, cellphones and more, Turkle will argue that we are fooled by the sense of intimacy and belonging that technology provides, and that our narcissistic use of technology is fueling disturbing levels of isolation. Pub date will be 2009.
Paul Elie at FSG bought world English rights to Jason Sheehan's Whiskey Down: A Story of Love, Sex, Death and Kitchens via David Dunton at Harvey Klinger. Sheehan, a James Beard Award—winning food critic for Denver's Westword newspaper, will recount years spent working in dozens of kitchens around the U.S. before turning to restaurant reviewing, revealing what really goes on in restaurant kitchens for those who aren't celebrity chefs. FSG will publish in winter 2009.
Double Duty for Fanning
Charlie Spicer at St. Martin's bought North American rights to two true crime books by Diane Fanning via Jane Dystel. The first is on Wendi Mae Davidson, a veterinarian who last year pleaded guilty to murdering her husband, poisoning him with drugs normally used to euthanize animals before stabbing him 41 times. The topic for the second book is yet to be determined.
Dystel also sold world English rights to two crime novels by Fanning to Anna Telfer at Severn House. The first, The Trophy Exchange, features a homicide investigator recently disfigured in a domestic violence call, whose next case is that of a doctor violently murdered while her two small children were in the house. Tentative pub date is spring 2008.
Claiborne Hancock at Pegasus bought world rights to The Vicious Circle: Mystery and Crime Stories by Members of the Algonquin Round Table, edited by Otto Penzler, via agent Nat Sobel. The anthology will include stories by Robert Benchley, S.J. Perelman, Ring Lardner, Alexander Woolcott and Dorothy Parker. Penzler, who has his own imprint at Harcourt, also owns New York's Mysterious Bookshop; Pegasus pub date is this December.... Rene Alegria at Harper bought North American rights to Carmen Posadas's Child's Play, about a murder at an exclusive private school that implicates the adopted daughter of a famous novelist, from Thomas Colchie on behalf of the Mercedes Casanovas Agency in Barcelona; Harper will publish in fall 2008, and Alma Books will publish in the U.K.... Allison McCabe at Crown acquired North American rights to a new novel by Nefertiti author Michelle Moran, her third for the imprint, titled Cleopatra's Daughter; Anna Ghosh at Scovil Chichak Galen made the sale. Pub date looks like 2009; Crown will publish Moran's second book, The Heretic Daughter, in fall 2008.... Malaika Adero at Atria bought North American rights to a collection of stories set in contemporary India by Indu Sundaresan; Sandra Dijkstra made the sale. The book is titled Convent of the Little Flowers; pub date is fall 2008. Atria published Sundaresan's most recent novel, Splendor of Silence, last year, and another under contract is due to pub in 2009.