Ng’s ‘Hearts’ Beats for Penguin

A new novel by Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere) was acquired by Ginny Smith Younce at Penguin Press. The North American rights deal was brokered by Julie Barer at the Book Group, with Penguin Canada set to publish in Canada. Penguin said Our Missing Hearts takes place in a near-future U.S. where, after years of economic decline and unrest, a set of laws aimed at maintaining “American culture” ban books deemed unpatriotic, among other things. Bird Gardner, a 12-year-old who lives alone with his father, has been taught to disavow his mother, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine. (His mother’s work, under the culture laws, has been banned.) But after receiving a mysterious letter, he begins to search for her. The novel, Penguin added, is “a story about the power—and limitations—of art to create change, the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact.” Our Missing Hearts is set to be released in October.


Morrow Lands Barr’s Memoir

Former U.S. attorney general William Barr sold a memoir to William Morrow. One Damn Thing After Another is slated for March and was acquired by Mauro DiPreta in a world rights agreement brokered by Keith Urbahn at Javelin. It provides, the publisher said, “a candid account of Barr’s historic tenures serving two vastly different presidents: George H.W. Bush and Donald J. Trump.” During Trump’s time in office, the author “faced an unrelenting barrage of issues, such as Russiagate, the opioid epidemic, Chinese espionage, the Covid outbreak, civil unrest, the first impeachment, and the 2020 election fallout.” The book, Morrow added, is “essential to not only understanding the Bush and Trump legacies but also how both men viewed power and justice at critical junctures of their presidencies.”

Mann Unveils New Novel for His Imprint

Michael Mann sold Heat 2 to Jennifer Brehl at Mann’s eponymous imprint at William Morrow. The book, due out in August, will be the first title published under the imprint, which was announced in 2016. Set both before and after Mann’s 1995 film Heat, the work is a novel, not a novelization, the publisher emphasized. Heat 2 opens a day after the end of the film (which chronicles a heist planned by an about-to-retire criminal, and the efforts of a veteran L.A. detective to stop it), and then moves back and forth in time. In addition to Heat, Mann directed such films as The Insider and Collateral and has been nominated for four Oscars; he also produced the 1980s TV series Miami Vice. Shane Salerno at the Story Factory brokered the world rights agreement for Mann.

Pantheon Welcomes Trundle’s ‘Daughter’

In a North American rights agreement, Deb Garrison at Pantheon bought Boo Trundle’s debut novel, The Daughter Ship. Alice Tasman at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, who represented the author, said the book is “an exploration of the inheritance of shame, narrated by a darkly comedic chorus, the submerged inner selves of a daughter, wife, and mother.” The Daughter Ship is slated for 2023. Trundle is an artist and musician who released a handful of albums in the 1990s via the independent label Big Deal Records; she has published work in, among other outlets, the Georgia Review, the Brooklyn Rail, and Prairie Schooner.

Stage Sells ‘Mothered’ to T&M

For Amazon Publishing’s Thomas & Mercer imprint, Liz Pearsons bought Zoje Stage’s Mothered at auction. Stage (Baby Teeth) was represented by Stephen Barbara and Claire Friedman at InkWell Management in the world English rights agreement. Barbara categorized the novel, set for February 2023, as psychological horror and said it’s “an intimate and claustrophobic account of a woman who invites her aging mother to live with her.”