Witches Fly to Redhook

In a world rights acquisition, Lindsey Hall at Hachette’s Redhook imprint bought Louisa Morgan’s novel The Secret History of Witches. The book, dubbed a “family saga” with “crossover fantasy” appeal by the publisher, is slated for fall 2017. Louisa Morgan is a pseudonym for Louise Marley, who has won the Endeavour Award—which celebrates the work of science fiction authors based in the Pacific Northwest—twice. Marley was represented in the deal by Peter Rubie at FinePrint Literary. The book grapples with, the publisher explained, “an ancient and dangerous power that’s been handed down from mother to daughter since time began.” It focuses on one family, with four generations of women fighting “the battles of their time, deciding how far they are willing to go to protect their family, their heritage, and, ultimately, all of our futures.”

Maynard Gets ‘Best’ at Bloomsbury

Joyce Maynard sold a memoir called The Best of Us to Nancy Miller at Bloomsbury in a world English rights deal. Maynard has written such bestsellers as To Die For (which was later adapted into a film of the same name) and is known for her 1998 memoir, At Home in the World, about the period she spent as an 18-year-old living with 50-something J.D. Salinger. In her new book, Maynard documents her 2013 marriage as well as her husband’s cancer diagnosis a year later. Bloomsbury said the book, which DeFiore and Company’s Nicole Tourtelot sold, is about “finding true love later in life, and discovering strength in the midst of great loss.” The Best of Us is scheduled for fall 2017.

Neuroscientist Explores Elegance at Picador

Stanford University neuroscientist Patrick House’s Against Elegance was bought, at auction, by James Meader and Pronoy Sarkar at Picador. Lauren Sharp at Kuhn Projects handled the world rights agreement for House, who has written for outlets such as Slate and the New Yorker online. The book, Picador said, “asks what elegance is and why we are inherently drawn to it.” The “elegant solution,” a term often used in fields such as mathematics and engineering, is one in which a particular desired effect is achieved with the least effort. The publisher explained that House, in his book, argues that “the elegant solution is often the wrong solution, especially concerning biology and the brain.” Against Elegance is slated for 2019.

S&S Lands U.K. Award Winner

Simon & Schuster’s Ira Silverberg nabbed North American rights, in a preempt, to Sharlene Teo’s novel Ponti. The author, who hails from Singapore and is now based in the U.K., won the Deborah Rogers Writers’ Award for Ponti this year; the honor is given out annually in England to an unpublished author working to complete his or her first book. Emma Paterson at the U.K.-based agency Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd. represented Teo, and said that the novel is about a 16-year-old named Szu who lives in the shadow of her mother, a once beautiful actress who now works as a “hack medium” performing séances with her sister. Szu meets the privileged Circe and the two form a friendship; 17 years later, while going through a painful divorce, Circe finds herself haunted by the relationship. Paterson said that the novel explores “the gaping loneliness of teenagehood, the surrealness of the modern city, and the strangeness of living with and loving other people.” The book, which is tentatively scheduled for 2018, has been acquired in a number of other countries, including the U.K., where Picador bought it after a heated auction.

Dangerfield’s Funny Man Sells Memoir

Jackie “the Joke Man” Martling sold his currently untitled memoir to Anthony Ziccardi at Post Hill Press. Ziccardi preempted North American rights to the book from Peter Steinberg at Foundry Literary + Media, and plans to publish the title in fall 2017. Martling began his career appearing in bands on Long Island before becoming a joke writer for Rodney Dangerfield. After that, he went on to an 18-year stint as a writer, and occasional on-air sidekick, on the Howard Stern Show.

Cohen Debut to Gallery

Gallery Books assistant editor Elana Cohen took world rights to a currently untitled debut novel by Leslie Cohen. The book follows, Gallery said, “a millennial music writer prone to whimsy, and a level-headed, practical engineer.” Andrew Blauner at the Blauner Books Literary Agency handled the sale for Cohen, whose proposal came with a plug from actor David Duchovny, who is also represented by Blauner; Gallery said that Duchovny declared the author to be a “young Nora Ephron.” The novel is planned for a 2018 publication.