Dutton Kids Nabs Hot Debut

In what the publisher described as a “heated” auction, Dutton Children’s Books paid seven figures for North American rights to Ally Condie’s Matched. The house compared the book to Brave New World and The Handmaid’s Tale, calling the dystopian work “one of the year’s most talked-about manuscripts.” In the book, a 17-year-old girl, who’s spent her life waiting for a group dubbed “The Society” to tell her who her ideal mate is, has her world upended when she discovers she’s falling in love with someone other than her supposed soul mate. Jodi Reamer at Writers House brokered the deal, which is for three books, with Don Weisberg,Lauri Hornik, and Julie Strauss-Gabel (who will edit). Dutton beat out seven other houses for the book and foreign rights have sold in Germany, Italy, and Brazil.

S&S Gets into Cave

Mark Mordue’s take on Aussie singer/songwriter and Bad Seeds frontman Nick Cave has sold to Colin Fox at Simon & Schuster. Fox bought U.S. rights to Tender Prey: The Life and Work of Nick Cave, which is built largely off of interviews with the musician, his bandmates, and others from his early career through to the present day. Eva Talmadge at the Emma Sweeney Agency struck the deal.

On Black Marriage

Brian Tart, president and publisher of Dutton, bought world rights to Ralph Richard Banks’s Is Marriage for White People? Banks, a distinguished African-American scholar who teaches about race and the law at Stanford Law School, examines the decline in marriage in the black community and, per Dutton, “offers a provocative and paradoxical solution.” Noah Lukeman at Lukeman Literary handled the deal.

How I Got into College

Heather Lazare (formerly Proulx) at Three Rivers Press took U.S., Canadian, and open market rights, in a five-way auction, to The 1 Guide to College Admission. Jennifer Joel at ICM brokered the deal for Robin Mamlet, a former admissions officer (at Stanford and Swarthmore, among others), and Christine VanDeVelde, a mom who survived the admissions process. Lazare said the book walks parents through the often hair-raising admissions process step-by-step.

War Stories

Meghan Stevenson at Plume took North American rights to Charlie Schroeder’s clever personal civics lesson, Re-Enactor: Learning About History One Bloodless Battle at a Time. Schroeder, an NPR producer, tries to catch up on his high school and college history classes by participating in military re-enactments of 15 famous battles. The “lesson” takes him from ancient Greek showdowns through Vietnam. Jonathan Lyons at Lyons Literary brokered the deal.

On a wartime trip of a different sort, Will Lippincott, at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin, sold world English rights to Dave Philips’s Lethal Warriors: The Fight to Save a Generation of Veterans on the Home Front to Alessandra Bastagli at Palgrave Macmillan. The book is spun off from Phillips’s series for the Colorado Springs Gazette called “Casualties of War” and explores the long-range effects of post-traumatic stress disorder; the book’s being timed to Veterans’ Day 2010.


Amy Gash at Algonquin nabbed world rights to Columbia Journalism prof Ari Goldman’s The Late Starter’s Orchestra. Andrew Blauner handled the deal for Goldman, who also wrote The Search for God at Harvard (Ballantine); in Orchestra he shares the unexpected joys his later-in-life attempt to relearn to play the cello, an instrument he played growing up. The book’s slated for 2011.