Howard Signs Barthelme

Gerald Howard at Doubleday has acquired North American rights to a new novel by Frederick Barthelme titled Waveland; Jin Auh at the Wylie Agency made the sale. Set in a Mississippi Gulf Coast community still reeling from the impact of Hurricane Katrina, the book focuses on the relationships among an architect, his ex-wife and his new girlfriend, who may or may not have murdered her husband; the novel also explores the guilt and regret felt by aging children about their imperfect relationships with their parents. The deal is a reunion on two levels; Doubleday published Barthelme’s first novel, War and War, in 1971, and Howard edited four of Barthelme’s books at Penguin in the 1980s. Pub date is early 2009.

Addiction and the Brain

Rob Weisbach just bought an untitled book on addiction by 25-year Time magazine science veteran Michael D. Lemonick for Weinstein Books; it will pub in 2009. Derived from a Time cover story this past summer on new developments in the science of addiction, Lemonick will examine what we have come to understand about the brain and its relation to all forms of addiction, including breakthrough findings by neuroscientists and geneticists over the past decade. Lemonick will also delve into the treatment of addictions throughout history and into the future. Cynthia Cannell made the world English sale on a proposal submitted exclusively to Weisbach after he approached the author upon reading the Time piece.

Schroder Brokers Two

Jon Karp at Twelve has acquired North American rights to a new book by Tony and Edgar Award— winner Rupert Holmes, titled The McMasters Guide to Homicide: Murder Your Employer. Heather Schroder at ICM made the sale. The novel will describe the inner workings of the McMasters Academy, the world’s leading institution devoted to the study and teaching of homicide. Revealing the trials of its faculty and the story of one of its most notorious students, the book will help readers become more proficient in the homicidal arts. Tentative pub date is 2009.

Also via Schroder, Anton Mueller at Houghton has acquired world rights to the next book by Paul Roberts, as yet untitled, on the state of the global financial system and the real story behind the subprime meltdown—why it happened, who profited and what it means for the future of American prosperity. This will be the third Roberts book published by Houghton, after The End of Oil (2004) and the The End of Food, which will come out next June.

Hyperion Trio

Leslie Wells at Hyperion preempted a memoir by Terrell Dougan titled That Went Well via CarolMann and Laura Yorke at the Carol Mann Agency. The book describes growing up with a mentally disabled sister, from the difficulties in getting her sister to attend school as a child to the challenges of assisted living facilities in adulthood, and the support Dougan received along the way. Dougan also talks about continuing the work of her father, who started the first association for mentally disabled children. Hyperion has world rights and will publish in January 2009.

Also at Hyperion, Will Schwalbe bought U.S. rights to Chris Kimball’s Fannie’s Last Supper via David Black. The author, host of America’s Test Kitchen, will re-create a Victorian feast from the Fannie Farmer cookbook, with guests including Stephen Colbert, Martha Stewart, Bob Woodward, J.K. Rowling and Ted Kennedy. The nonfiction narrative will recount the preparation, recipes, technique, the story of the event and cleanup. Pub date is summer 2010.

Chisomo Kalinga acquired North American rights to Samuel Logan’s This Is for the Mara Salvatrucha via Rebecca Friedman at Sterling Lord. The book will tell the story of Brenda Paz, who at age 16 became the top informant in an FBI investigation of the Mara Salvatrucha, a U.S. gang. Using Paz’s testimony, the author will shed light on the gang’s infiltration of the U.S. Hyperion will pub in July 2009.

Etiquette Debut

Robin Dennis at Holt/Times Books has preempted Mind over Manners: Etiquette for a Diverse Society, the first book by psychologist and Boston Globe Sunday Magazine “Miss Conduct” columnist Robin Abrahams. Dan O’Connell at the Strothman Agency sold North American rights. This compendium of advice will combine psychological insight, evolutionary theory and humor to tell readers how to “think” their way through the slippery rules about food, children, pets, religion, money, sex and health. Pub date is spring 2009.

The Briefing

Charlie Spicer at St. Martin’s preempted world rights to a supernatural thriller by Christopher Ransom titled The Expectancy; Scott Miller at Trident made the six-figure sale, and SMP plans to publish in 2009.... David Cashion acquired paperback rights for Penguin to Gary Moore’sPlaying with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams, published in hardcover in 2006 by military and history publisher Savas Beattie. The film adaptation of Playing is due to begin shooting shortly.