The first of two previews of agents' hotlists for the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The Wylie Agency brings a new novel from Martin Amis, to be delivered this autumn. Few details have been disclosed, but The Zone of Interest is described as a love story with "a violently unromantic setting". Dave Eggers' The Circle, with Hamish Hamilton in the UK and Knopf/McSweeney's in the US, is the story of an increasingly influential social network; rights are also sold in Brazil and Germany. Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert returns with novel A Signature of All Things, with rights in 22 territories already sold, including Bloomsbury in the UK. In non-fiction, Wylie has Untitled on World Order by Henry Kissinger, the foreign policy veteran's account of how we can move to a common perspective, now out on submission, and Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's Double Down: Game Change 2012, covering the 2012 US presidential election (with Penguin Press in the US).
Ed Victor brings début novel Weightless by US author Saran Bannan, a tale of teenage bullying in the digital age, sold to St Martin's Press in the US. Hermione Eyre's début Viper Wine, set in 1632 on the cusp of science and magic, has already gone to Cape in the UK. Meanwhile John Banville's alter-ego Benjamin Black returns in The Black-Eyed Blonde (with Picador in the UK, with rights sold in the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Brazil). Lord Browne's The Glass Closet is a non-fiction analysis of homophobia in the business world, sold to W H Allen in the UK and HarperBusiness in the US. Meanwhile, The Temple Boys by Jamie Buxton is a middle-grade novel set in 33rd-century Jerusalem, sold to Egmont in the UK and FSG in the US.
Diane Banks Associates has Kate Riordan's Fiercombe Manor, set in a Gloucestershire manor house in the 1890s and 1930s, sold in the UK to Michael Joseph for six figures and HarperCollins in the US. Dani Atkins' Fractured is a "high-concept" love story which has sold in 12 territories, including to Head of Zeus in the UK. In non-fiction, Lyndsy Spence's Mrs Guinness: The Rise and Fall of a Socialite, a biography of Diana Mitford, is now out on submission. Ellee Seymour's The Shop Girls charts the lives of women at a Cambridge department store (UK and Commonwealth with Sphere). Profile has already snapped up world English rights to Eugenia Cheng's Cakes, Custard and Category Theory, which sees the mathematician explaining maths with food.
Greene & Heaton brings fiction from J B Morrison, whose novel The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81, has been signed in the UK by Macmillan. Alongside that they have a début from TV comedy writer Jenni Armstrong exploring postgraduate malaise, and Lucy Clark's second novel A Single Breath, sold to HarperCollins in the UK, Simon & Schuster in the US and Canada, Pier in Germany, and Bruna in Holland. In non-fiction, Emma Cook's 5:2 Your Life has gone to Hutchinson in the UK, with rights also sold in Spain and the Netherlands. Olivia Williams' Ginnaissance, a history of London and its iconic drink, has been sold to Headline in the UK.
Blake Friedmann brings a packed fiction list, including The Darkest Hour by Barbara Erskine, sold to HarperCollins in the UK, about a widow investigating a mysterious painting. Joseph O'Connor returns with a contemporary novel about a reuniting rock band, The Thrill of it All, with Harvill Secker signing UK rights. UK and US rights are available for Siobhan MacDonald's Twisted River, a house-swap thriller set in Manhattan and Limerick, while Paul Finch's Grisly Sacrifice is the second in his Heck series, with translation rights available. Chatto has signed Kerry Hudson's Thirst in the UK, a heartbreaking romance set in Russia and east London, with Penguin optioning in the US. Mel Rogerson has the first in a YA series, Breakwater, on submission now.
The Madeleine Milburn Agency has If You're Not the One by Jemma Forte, a romance with UK and Commonwealth rights signed by Harlequin. Mother of the Year by Karen Ross is a comedy; world English rights were seized by Ebury Press. The agency is also bringing Mel Sheratt's Taunting the Dead, a bestselling e-book which has seen world English rights go to Amazon imprint Thomas & Mercer. For younger readers, the agency has a YA novel from Holly Bourne, The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, which Usborne has signed UK and Commonwealth rights to. All rights are on offer for Dave Lowe's Squirrel Hunter vs the Bogey Man, a tale about an unconventional superhero.
Darley Anderson has the first in a YA series, Conquest, about an alien invasion and the human resistance, with translation rights available after Headline signed rights in the UK. Tim Weaver's Never Coming Back is a thriller spanning continents, signed by Penguin UK and a Richard & Judy pick. Commercial women's fiction comes from Kerry Fisher with The School Gate Survival Guide, signed by Avon with translation rights available. The same rights are open on How to Get a (Love) Life by Rosie Blake, acquired by Novelicious in the UK. Reading Upside Down by Jo Platt is out on submission, described as "a Richard Curtis film in a book".
Conville & Walsh has non-fiction in the shape of A Kim Jong-Il Production by Paul Fischer, on submission in the UK and US, following the true story of the North Korean dictator's kidnap of South Korean cinema's golden couple. About to be submitted is Tali Sharot's The Group Delusion, a study of how group thinking can lead to disastrous results. Quercus has signed rights to Peter Nichols' The Rocks, a dark comedy set in Mallorca, while Rebecca Whitney's The Liar's Chair, which follows a couple's guilt after a hit and run, is out on submission. Spacejackers by Huw Powell is a children's book about space pirates.
Lutyens & Rubenstein is offering translation rights for three début novels recently sold in the UK. Mantle has signed world English rights to Ray Celeste's The Axeman's Jazz, based on the tale of a murderer in 1919 New Orleans. Fig Tree has signed UK rights to Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller, which follows a young girl forced to live in the woods by her father. The Silversmith's Wife by Sophia Tobin is about an 18th-century murder, with Simon & Schuster signing UK rights.
Furniss Lawton brings a début novel from Jo Bloom. Ridley Road is a love story set amid 1960s fascism, currently under auction in the UK. Meanwhile The Proposal by Tasmina Perry follows a woman enticed by a glamorous aristocrat with a secret. Headline has UK and Commonwealth rights. HarperCollins has signed the same rights to The Ice Twins by Jo Blackwood, a psychological thriller set on the island of Skye.
Rogers, Coleridge & White offers Andrew O'Hagan's new novel about modern war, The Illuminations, which Faber has signed in the UK. Meanwhile, Fourth Estate has signed UK rights to The Dog by Joseph O'Neill, a black comedy about a US expat in Dubai. Atlantic has picked up Leann Cullinan's début, The Living, about contemporary Ireland, while Stephen Grosz's Seven Obstacles to Love has gone to Chatto in the UK and Knopf in Canada. Caitlin Moran follows up Moranthology with coming-of-age novel How to Build a Girl, signed by Ebury in the UK.
Andrew Lownie Literary Agency brings non-fiction in the shape of Thinking in Numbers: How Maths Illuminates Our Lives by Daniel Tammet, sold to Hodder and Little, Brown in the UK and US respectively, as well as in France, Japan, Korea, Spain, Germany, Turkey and Italy. Hess, Hitler and Churchill by Peter Padfield retells a turning point in the Second World War, with Icon publishing here. Icon also has Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm than Good by James Davies. Helen Croydon addresses family life in Screw the Fairytale: What if you Don't Want Marriage and Kids?, signed by John Blake. The Adventures of Inspector Lestrade by M J Trow, published by Thistle in the UK and US, is a fiction offering.