Book Deals: Week of March 25, 2019

Deal of the Week: Europa Signs a Japanese Literary Star

Europa Editions editor Eva Ferri landed North American rights to three novels by Japanese writer Mieko Kawakami, who was selected in 2017 as one of the most exciting global talents in John Freeman’s Future of New Writing. Amanda Urban and Amelia Atlas at ICM Partners brokered the deal. Haruki Murakami said that the first title, Breast and Eggs (which has sold more than 250,000 copies in Japan), is “so amazing it took my breath away.” In the novel, which will be released in the U.S. in 2020, Kawakami explores womanhood in contemporary Japan, and, in particular, asks, “What does it look like for a woman to have a child outside the framework of heterosexual partnership?” Ferri also acquired Italian rights to the trio for Edizioni E/O. U.K. and Commonwealth rights to the three novels were won by Picador in a five-way auction.

FROM THE U.S.

Hoover Jumps to Montlake Romance

For a rumored six figures, Montlake editorial director Anh Schluep snagged Colleen Hoover in a two-book deal for world English rights brokered by Jane Dystel at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. First up is Regretting You, due in fall 2020. “Montlake is thrilled to work with Colleen Hoover,” Schluep said. “Her novels deeply connect with readers, winning the Goodreads Choice Award in Romance three years in a row.” Hoover has been published by Atria.

Hanover Square Snares a Killer Debut

In a two-book deal, editor John Glynn preempted North American rights to The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson. The deal was announced last week from the London Book Fair by HarperCollins’s HQ imprint, where editorial director Manpreet Grewal won a six-publisher auction of Jigsaw for U.K. and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada). Oli Munson at AM Heath negotiated both deals. Glynn called this serial-killer crime novel “an addictive page-turner,” adding, “The Jigsaw Man elevates the genre with inventive storytelling, complex characters, and an urgent layer of procedural authenticity.”

Abrams Preempts ‘The Suspect’

Abrams’s Garrett McGrath preempted The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle by former U.S. attorney Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and editor. Drawing on interviews with more than 150 sources and 90,000 pages of documents, the authors dig into the story of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing and Richard Jewell, a security guard whose quick thinking saved hundreds of lives, but who became the FBI’s main suspect. Sarah Smith at David Black Literary Agency sold the North American rights, and film rights have been optioned to Twentieth Century Fox, 75 Year Plan, Appian Way, and Misher Films.

Debut by Award-winning Cartoonist to Boom!

In another preempt, Boom! executive editor Sierra Hahn and president of publishing and marketing Filip Sablik snagged The Man Who Came Down the Attic Stairs by Celine Loup, an illustrator and Ignatz Award–nominated cartoonist whose work has appeared in the New York Times and the New Yorker. Due this fall, the tale of horror and suspense “explores the very real fears associated with new motherhood,” said the publisher. Meredith Kaffel Simonoff of DeFiore & Company Literary Management negotiated the deal for world English rights.

Teen Feminist Guide to Norton

Norton Young Readers publishing director Simon Boughton picked up North American rights from Tanya McKinnon of McKinnon McIntyre to Feminist AF: A Guide to Crushing Girlhood by the founding members of Crunk Feminist Collective, Brittney Cooper, Chanel Craft Tanner, and Susana Morris. Due for release in summer 2020—the 10th anniversary of the founding of the collective—the book is a guide for teen girls who want to be “unapologetically feminist and living their feminism out loud,” said the publisher.

Quinones’s Follow-up to Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury’s Anton Mueller has acquired world rights to NBCC Award­–winner Sam Quinones’s as-yet-untitled follow-up to the acclaimed Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic. Planned for an early 2020 release, it is an exploration of fentanyl and the quiet but groundbreaking steps communities across the nation are taking to end the opioid crisis. Quinones was represented by Stephany Evans at Ayesha Pande Literary.

St. Martin’s executive editor Michael Flamini won at auction Sinclair McKay’s The Fire and the Darkness: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945, a minute-by-minute account of the devastating aerial bombardment of the German city of Dresden during the final days of WWII. The book is set for publication in February 2020, the 75th anniversary of the bombing.

McKay, a literary critic for the Spectator and the Telegraph and author of The Secret Lives of Codebreakers, mined newly opened archives and other sources to take the reader into the heart of the inferno, detailing how the Allies “rained fire down on what was left of the city, conjuring a phenomenon of physics that turned the streets into a blast furnace, the shelters into ovens and whipped up a molten hurricane in which the citizens of Dresden were burned, baked, or suffocated to death,” said the publisher.

Readers will come to know such civilians as Margot Hille, an apprentice brewery worker, and Anita Auerbach, a waitress in the White Riband Café, and, of course, the Nazi officers who were in command of Dresden at the time. The North American rights deal was brokered by Sarah Scarlett at Penguin Random House UK.

MOVIE DEALS

Jennifer Phang’s Good Neighbors Media bought film and television rights to Todd Mitchell’s upcoming YA novel, The Naming Girl, a steampunk fairy tale. Mitchell is repped by Curtis Brown Ltd.

● In an exclusive submission, Del Rey editorial director Tricia Narwani scooped up North American rights to Josh Malerman’s Malorie, the sequel to Bird Box, which was adapted into a Netflix film that has been streamed more than 80 million times. Malerman was shortlisted for a 2018 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel for his last work, Unbury Carol.

INTERNATIONAL DEALS

● In the U.K., HarperFiction’s editorial director, Martha Ashby, preempted The Book of Keys, a debut novel by Holly Dawson, The Bookseller reported.The book is inspired by a situation that Dawson, a freelance writer, tweeted about in October: “Just heard about a guy who died in my village left 3 houses to the council, with the stipulation that they’re for young families to rent for a fixed period of 3yrs with rent of £300 pcm (in an area where rent is £1000+). Because we all need to talk more about the good humans.” The tweet went viral, and the BBC verified the story in a subsequent article, according to the publisher. Jenny Hewson at Rogers, Coleridge and White negotiated the deal for world English rights.

A version of this article appeared in the 03/25/2019 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Deals

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