New Press Welcomes Hayoun’s ‘Arabs’

In a world rights deal, Jed Bickman at the New Press bought Massoud Hayoun’s debut nonfiction book, When We Were Arabs. The narrative work, the publisher said, “recounts and investigates the author’s North African Jewish ancestry and the movements of his family.” The author follows his clan as they make their way from Tunisia to Los Angeles (with stops in Egypt and France) while “grappling with questions of his Jewish and Arab identity.” Hayoun was represented by Ed Maxwell at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and the book is slated for winter 2020.

Hessler Goes to Penguin for ‘Buried’

National Book Award nonfiction finalist Peter Hessler closed a North American rights agreement with Scott Moyers, at Penguin Press, for The Buried. Hessler, who was represented by William Clark at Wm. Clark Associates, has published his last four books with HarperCollins, including his NBA-nominated Oracle Bones. His new novel, which is subtitled An Excavation of the Egyptian Revolution, is, Moyers said, “a beautiful and profound reckoning with contemporary Egypt in the shadow of its deep past” that blends “the story of important archeological excavations with that of the author’s tutelage in the Arab language.”

Tor Teen Moves on Fantasy Duology

Charlotte Davis’s YA novel, Good Luck Girls, the first in a fantasy duology, was preempted in a two-book deal by Melissa Frain at Tor Teen. Frain took North American rights to the book from Allison Hellegers at Rights People, working on behalf of Chris Snowdon, Lynn Weingarten, and Marianna Baer at the YA packager Dovetail Fiction. (Dovetail is a new company and, according to Hellegers, a “sister business” to the established YA packager Working Partners.) Hellegers said Good Luck Girls was pitched as “The Handmaid’s Tale meets Thelma and Louise in an alternate Wild West setting.” The novel, which is slated for fall 2019, follows five girls who, Hellegers explained, “escape from the ‘welcome house’ that owns them and embark on a dangerous journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge.” Rights to the book have also sold to publishers in, among other countries, Italy, France, Hungary, and Spain.

Miller’s ‘Lite’ to Katherine Tegen

Ben Rosenthal at Katherine Tegen Books took North American rights at auction, for six figures, to Samuel Miller’s debut novel A Lite Too Bright. The two-book deal, which includes an untitled work, was brokered by Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary Media. Volpe said Lite, which is slated for spring 2018, is about a college-bound high schooler named Arthur Louis Pullman III. When he loses his scholarship he then starts to lose something else: “his grip on reality.” Pullman begins to climb back, Volpe went on, after “discovering his recently deceased novelist grandfather’s journal and embarking on a cross-country train ride, guided only by clues written through his grandfather’s fog of dementia.”

Ace Nabs Two by Tieryas

Executive editor at Ace Anne Sowards bought world rights (excluding Japanese and Chinese languages) to two novels by Peter Tieryas at auction. Tieryas, who works in feature animation (and was formerly at Sony Pictures Imageworks), was represented by Judy Hansen at Hansen Literary Management. Ace said the novels, Mecha Samurai Empire and Sons of War, are standalone works set in the same world as the author’s 2016 book The United States of Japan (Angry Robot), in which “Germany and Japan won World War II and divided the United States between them.” Mecha Samurai Empire is set for a fall 2018 release.

Gilman’s Sophomore Novel Lands at GCP

In a world rights agreement, Millicent Bennett at Grand Central Press bought Susan Jane Gilman’s currently untitled second novel. Gilman is the author of a number of nonfiction bestsellers and the novel The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street (Grand Central, 2014). GCP said the new book is “a dark comedy” about a suburban mom, former punk rocker, and recovering alcoholic “who detonates her comfortable life on the cusp of her 45th birthday and winds up on an epic quest across America and an ocean.” Gilman was represented by Molly Friedrich at the Friedrich Agency.

Bloomsbury Buys Mayer’s ‘Aerialists’

Michener-Copernicus fellow and graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop Mark Mayer sold North American rights to a short story collection called Aerialists. Callie Garnett at Bloomsbury bought the book from Janet Silver at Aevitas Creative Management. Bloomsbury said the nine stories in the book follow “lonely misfits in a world gone slightly askew, in which ordinary American characters mirror circus archetypes.” The collection is set for winter 2019.

Colemans Re-up with SMP

Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman, authors of the bestselling Cartel series, have signed a new three-book deal with St. Martin’s Press. The pair closed a U.S., Canadian, and open market rights agreement to do three more books in their series. The first five Cartel titles were published by Urban Books, and SMP released books six and seven. The first title covered under this deal, The Cartel 8, will be released in hardcover in winter 2019; that title will mark the authors’ hardcover debut. Marc Gerald at United Talent Agency represented the Colemans, brokering the agreement with SMP’s Monique Patterson.