Sports Stories

Daniel Halpern at Ecco won an auction for S. L. Price’s Heart of the Game, acquiring world rights from Andrew Blauner. Expanded from a September Sports Illustrated article, the book will tell the story of 35-year-old Mike Coolbaugh, a 17-year veteran of minor league baseball who died instantly after being struck by a foul ball. Price will recount this journeyman’s life and his devotion to the game, family—he was married with two sons and a third child on the way—and church. Price’s most recent book, Far Afield, was published by Lyons this fall and was named one of Esquire’s top five books of the year. Ecco will publish Heart in winter 2009.

Paul Golob at Times Books bought a new book by New York Times sports reporter Joe Drape, tentatively titled Our Boys: A Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen. This portrait of Smith Center, Kans., will describe how its football team, undefeated for four consecutive seasons, serves as the anchor of the town’s civic life. Through the stories of the coaches, players, parents and graduates, Kansas City native Drape will explore how Smith Center is fighting to hold on to a way of life that is rich in value, even as its economic fortunes decline. Golob bought world rights from Robbie Anna Hare, and expects to publish in fall 2009.

Macbeth Sequel

Claiborne Hancock at Pegasus has acquired North American rights to Noah Lukeman’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, Part II: The Seed of Banquo; literary agent Lukeman repped himself in the deal. His play will pick up where Macbeth left off and aspires to resolve its many loose ends, including the witches’ prophecy that the “seed of Banquo” will become kings. Presented as a faithful sequel, it is written in blank verse and iambic pentameter, and adheres to the traditional Shakespearean five-act structure. Lukeman is the author of several books on writing, most recently A Dash of Style (Norton). Pegasus will publish in October 2008.

Two for Morrow

Stephen Morrow at Dutton bought North American rights to The Genesis Enigma: The Hidden Science of Creation by Andrew Parker via Ivan Mulcahy. Parker, professor of evolutionary science at Oxford and Sydney, will explore the question of divine inspiration: How could the scientific truth that underlies the biblical story of Genesis have been guessed by its author?

Morrow also acquired North American rights to Bursts by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi via Katinka Matson. Barabasi will show how the science of networks has revealed that value is created and lost not gradually, but in bursts that follow distinct patterns, and will explain what this new discovery means for business, medicine, government and even the course of history. Pub date for both books is fall 2009.

Debut Thriller

Charles Spicer at St. Martin’s bought U.S. rights to James Hayman’s The Cutting in a two-book deal with Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. This suspense novel centers on Det. Sgt. Michael McCabe, who’s left the pressure of New York to raise his only daughter on the coast of Maine, when he finds himself confronting the most brutal killer of his career—a sadist with a brilliant medical mind. Likely pub date is spring 2009, with a second McCabe novel to follow.

Yeh Nabs Two from Rhodes

Phoebe Yeh at HarperCollins Children’s bought world rights to a memoir by Ryan Smithson titled Silence and Silhouettes: The Ghosts of War via Jodie Rhodes. Smithson will reveal what happens to young men and women sent off to war, recounting his own enlistment in the army at 17 and his subsequent deployment to Iraq.

On an exclusive submission, Yeh also bought world English rights to a new YA novel by Kavita Daswani titled The Ring. The book tells the story of a girl born in India to a hypertraditional family and raised among servants in an ancestral home, who finds her life turned upside down at 14 when her family relocates to Los Angeles.

The Briefing

Mary Ellen O’Neill at Collins preempted world rights to Peg Streep’s Mean Mothers via Karen Gantz Zahler. Streep will explore the darker side of maternal behavior drawn from research and the real-life experiences of adult daughters. Streep is the coauthor of Necessary Journeys: Letting Ourselves Learn from Life (Hyperion, 2000).... Ben Schafer at Da Capo bought world rights to Peter Conners’s Growing Up Dead: The Hallucinated Confessions of a Teenage Deadhead via Linda Roghaar. Conners will chart his journey from straightlaced suburban kid to unbathed, dreadlocked, acid-taking, college dropout Deadhead nomad, the story culminating with the death of Jerry Garcia. Pub date is spring 2009.... Chris Rogers at Yale University Press bought world rights to historian William G. Thomas’s Jupiter’s Bow: Railroads, the Civil War and the Roots of Modern America via agent Wendy Strothman, for publication in 2010 or 2011.