Frankfurt Book Fair: rights preview II

Frankfurt Book Fair: rights preview II

A M Heath is bringing the first novel for 15 years from Charles Palliser, author of The Quincunx. Titled Rustication, the Victorian-set novel tells of a young man sent down from Cambridge and returning to a family in crisis following the mysterious death of his father. The novel is out on submission in the UK. The agency is also taking its Man Booker-shortlisted titles—Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies and Deborah Levy's Swimming Home—and new novels from Maggie O'Farrell (Instructions for a Heatwave), Katie Fforde, Conn Iggulden, Patrick Flanery and Grace McLeen. In non-fiction, A M Heath is bringing a proposal for The Brotherhood Effect by science journalist Michael Bond, exploring how ordinary people do extraordinary things within the context of a group—such as war heroes and war criminals. The book has been sold to Oneword in the UK for 2013 publication. It also has what it calls a "seminal" work on European history" Brendan Simms' Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, for which a manuscript will be ready just after the Fair.

Curtis Brown will sell digital translation rights to Margaret Atwood’s e-book short story I’m Starved for You, the first in her Positron series published with Byliner Original. The series will later be published as a full-length novel in print. The agency also has Tracy  Chevalier’s The Last Runaway (with HarperCollins in the UK), set in rural Ohio during the last days of slavery, and John le Carré’s A Delicate Truth (with Penguin in the UK and US), “a furiously paced story of moral dilemma, personal guilt, bold action and unexpected love”.

A P Watt has Ottakar’s founder James Heneage on its hotlist with Shadow of the Crescent Moon, the first book in the Mistra trilogy set in the last decade of the 14th century, described as an epic novel about the final years of Byzantium. Quercus will publish in the UK next July. The agency is also bringing James Robertson’s The Professor of Truth, a novel about a plane bombing over Scotland which sold to Hamish Hamilton in the UK and The Other Press in the US. Marli Roode’s Call it Dog, the story of a young female journalist returning to South Africa after 10 years in the UK, is also on the list. Rights sold to Atlantic in the UK.

United Agents’ Anna Webber is bringing a new novel from Adam Foulds, The Truth About These Strange Times, which is about botched liberation attempts in North Africa and Sicily at the end of the Second World War. A UK deal will be announced shortly. The agency is also bringing Dawn French’s new novel Oh Dear Silvia, about a woman in a coma. The title will be published in the UK by Michael Joseph. Jim Gill is bringing Robert Lautner’s The Wooden Paterson, described as a literary western with unforgettable characters. HarperCollins will publish in the UK in February 2014. Margaret Macmillan’s 1914, represented by Caroline Dawnay, is a new look at the causes of the First World War by the author of Peacemakers. Profile has UK rights, with Modern Library/Random House publishing in the US and Penguin in Canada. Dutch rights have been sold to Atlas Contact, with deals ongoing in France and Spain.

Darley Anderson is bringing four débuts, two of which are adult titles: Blessed Among Women, a novel about Diane de Poitiers by Amber Leah Brock; and The Pre-Raphaelite Seamstress by Anita Murray, a historical murder mystery called “highly commercial, sensual and powerful”. The agency’s two young adult débuts are Smart by Kim Slater, about a 14-year-old who finds the body of a homeless man and refuses to believe the death is accidental (UK and Commonwealth rights have just been sold to Macmillan Children’s Books); and Solid White Moon by Lisa Heathfield, described as “a sensitive YA thriller with a tragic love story”.

Conville & Walsh is bringing Antonia Hodgson’s début The Devil in the Marshalsea. It is also bringing Simon Van Booy’s novel The Illusion of Separateness, set during the Second World War, and sold to HarperCollins in the US. In non-fiction it has Tom Holland’s new book Dynasty, the story of the House of Caesar, which is said to provide a portrait of the entire Roman world (with Little, Brown in the UK). The agency is also bringing Dylan Trigg’s Phobic, an examination of how our everyday experiences are affected by anxiety, and Misha Glenny’s The Time of the Fat Monkey, the story of the Zo’e tribe in the Amazon, currently out on submission in the UK.

Sheil Land will be discussing a new novel from Diane Setterfield, author of The Thirteenth Tale, titled Bellman & Black, sold to Orion but with no publication date yet finalised in the UK. The agency is also bringing a Susan Hill ghost story, Dolly, sold to Profile; Rose Tremain’s Merivel; and War God, the first volume in an epic trilogy by Graham Hancock.

WME’s Simon Trewin has Phil Viner’s A Half-Remembered Death, a crime story about a college student murdered 20 years ago, currently out on submission in the UK. Cathryn Summerhayes is taking Naomi Wood’s Mrs Hemingway, a novel about the lives of Ernest Hemingway’s four wives: Hadley, Pauline, Martha and Mary. UK rights have already gone to Francesca Main at Picador, with Pascal picking up rights for Poland. Summerhayes also has Darcy Burdock by Laura Dockrill, “a fresh, irreverent, distinctive new voice in children’s books”. Claudia Webb is agenting The Dog Day Murder, the first book in a début crime series by Hannah Ballinger. Elizabeth Sheinkman has Marcel Theroux’s novel Strange Bodies, sold to Faber in the UK and to FSC in the US.

Peters, Fraser & Dunlop is taking Peter Moore’s The Weather Experiment, bringing to life the birth of metereology, bought in the UK by Chatto on proposal. It also has début thriller Bait by J Kent Messum, about a group of strangers stranded on a remote island. Meanwhile, The Girl Effect by Maria Eitel, founder of the Nike Foundation, lays out a plan to combat poverty through the education of young women. The title is currently on submission in the US. Escape from Homs by Paul Conroy, sold to Quercus, is also on PFD’s list.

Luigi Bonomi Associates has Bound to Escape by Robert Chilver (out on general submission), a début thriller set in the Second World War with Britain’s nuclear secrets about to fall into the hands of the Germans, and Mason Cross’ Killing Season, a début about a manhunter called in by the FBI to track down a serial killer. ILA is handling rights on LBA’s behalf to a new novel by Simon Kernick, Ultimatum, described as a “fast and pacy race against time” which sold to Random House UK, and Karen Swan’s The Perfect Present (with Macmillan in UK). Foreign rights sales to The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckermann—“a moving tale of a woman who has died but who can still see what happens to her loved ones on earth”—are being handled by Penguin UK, which bought world rights from LBA.

Furniss & Lawton is bringing The Story of X by a pseudonymous author, A J Malloy, described as “erotica meets thriller” and bought by Transworld on a partial in the UK and pre-empted by HarperCollins in the US. The agency is also bringing Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead, with world English-language rights sold to Profile. It has a children’s début, Stunt Boy by Lollie Barr, described as “old-fashioned storytelling set in a circus”.

Andrew Lownie is bringing Bradford housewife Marina Chapman’s account of being brought up by monkeys in the Colombian jungle, The Girl with No Name. It has already been sold in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, Holland and China. The agency also has two volumes of memoirs: Raider of the Lost Art by Chris Marinello, who has devoted his life to the recovery of stolen art, and record producer Bob Johnston’s Is it Rolling, Bob?

Frankfurt Book Fair: rights preview I