London Book Fair: ones to watch

Aitken Alexander is reporting strong interest in Grace McLeen's The Land of Decoration, sold last month to Chatto in the UK, Holt in the United States, HarperCollins in Canada and into 10 languages to date. It is about a bullied girl who believes changes in a model world she builds affect her surroundings.

Also offered by Clare Alexander is Jasmine Nights by former "Richard & Judy" pick Julia Gregson. To be published by Orion in the UK and Touchstone in the US, the book is about a singer hired by the British Secret Service during the Second World War. Gillie Russell is selling Blood Red Road by Moira Young, won at auction by Scholastic last year. US rights belong to Simon & Schuster, Canadian to Doubleday and there are sales into 11 languages for the book, about survival in a lawless land. Mary Pachnos is selling A Streetcat Named Bob by James Bowen, a book about the relationship between a formerly homeless musician author and an injured tomcat. Hodder will publish in the UK in March 2012. Andrew Kidd will be selling Pankaj Mishra's The Revolt Against the West, an "alternative history" of imperialism.

Touted by A P Watt is Joe Dunthorne's Wild Abandon, about the disintegration of a communal farm. Hamish Hamilton has UK rights, Random House in the US and Penguin in Canada. It is also offering Untold Story, Monica Ali's alternative history of Princess Diana surviving the 1997 car crash that killed her. Transworld published last month in the UK and Scribner holds US rights. HarperCollins' Children's Books editorial director Nick Lake's début novel, In Darkness, about an earthquake in Haiti, is also on offer with Bloomsbury holding world English language rights. Picador is publishing No Love Lost by Anna Rawlinson next spring, which is about a woman trying to piece together her memories about the end of a doomed relationship. Ben Masters' novel about the last night of university, Noughties, is also on offer. Hamish Hamilton will publish in the UK in February 2012. HarperCollins has UK rights to Daniel Blake's book, provisionally titled City of the Dead, about brutal murders in New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina is about to hit. S&S has US rights. Sadakat Kadri's examination of Sharia Law, Heaven on Earth is A P Watt's non-fiction pick. Bodley Head (UK), Farrar, Straus & Giroux (US) will publish in 2011.


Darley Anderson is offering foreign and US rights to Carmen Reid's The Jewels of Manhattan, billed as "rom-com meets crime". Transworld has UK rights. Also in crime, UK rights are being offered for A J Cross' Gone in Seconds, which opens a new series featuring a forensic psychologist. Foreign and US rights are available for Chris Mooney's The Shadow, first in a new series from the author of the Darby McCormick novels. Michael Joseph has UK rights. In children's, Greenwillow/HarperCollins US pre-empted North American rights to Anne Cameron's Angus McFangus, a book about a weather predicting hero. Templar pre-empted UK/Commonwealth rights to Dave Lowe's My Hamster is a Genius, about a sarcastic rodent. Atom pre-empted UK/Commonwealth rights to C J Daugherty's Night School, the first of a young adult psychological suspense series.

Oliver Munson at Blake Friedmann is offering international rights to David Mark's The Dark Winter, amid interest from three publishers for UK rights. He is also touting international rights to The Bookseller of Grass by Tony Mulholland; a crime novel set in the world of antique bookselling. Garzanti pre-empted in Italy, as did Scribe in Australia. Carole Blake is reporting international interest in The Cornish House by Liz Fenwick, "a Du-Maurier-esque novel". It is on offer to UK publishers, with German interest already noted, in addition to several Dutch bids.

HarperCollins has bought world English rights to Tomorrow's Sun by Amanda Brooke from Luigi Bonomi, the story of a woman forced to choose between her own life and that of her unborn child. ILA is handling foreign rights for it and Pictures at an Exhibition by Camilla McPherson. Random House has world English rights to the book, about two women finding the answers to their problems through the great works of art. Gavin Menzies' follow-up to 1421, The Lost Empire of Atlantis, is also being sold. Orion has world rights and publication is set for this autumn.

At Conville & Walsh, UK and translation rights worldwide are up for grabs to Flight by John Hemingway, about flying doctor Anne Spoerry who spent 35 years saving lives in East Africa, despite murky past deeds committed during the Second World War. Norton has US rights. Human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith's experiences of Death Row will be told in The Injustice System, with world rights available. C&W is touting professor Jim al-Khalili as the new Brian Cox, with two new projects from the Radio 4 science presenter for sale; Maxell's Demon and Schrodinger's Cat and Quantum Life. The former is a book of scientific paradoxes with the latter focusing on "big ideas". Nick Harkaway's The Angel-Maker, to be published by Knopf (US) and William Heinemann (UK), is about two people, 40 years apart, trying to stop a machine that can disrupt the universe. C&W is also selling Peak Digital, his analysis on how to live in the digital age. Sunday Times journalist Judith O'Reilly's The Jam Jar Army, her account of trying to do a good deed a day, is on offer with Viking publishing in the UK. Belle de Jour, a.k.a. Dr Brooke Magnanti, will write her first book under her real name—Orion's Genevieve Pegg has bought UK rights to Sexonomics, an examination of third-wave feminism through the prism of the sex trade, for spring 2012.

Journalist Heather Brooke's title on how the internet is changing politics, The Revolution Will Be Digitised, is being sold by Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown. William Heinemann has UK and Commonwealth rights, with publication in August. Tom Bower's biography of Bernie Ecclestone, No Angel, has already been sold to Novo Conceito (Brazil), Egmont (Germany), Eksmo (Russia), Urano (Spain) by Jonathan Lloyd. Faber published in the UK. Elsewhere in non-fiction, Jonny Geller is selling Undercover Muslim by Theo Padnos, investigating the radicalisation of young British men. Random House has UK and Commonwealth rights. Geller has also sold rights to Hari Kunzru's Gods without Men to Lattes (France) and Alfaguara (Spain). Knopf (US) and Penguin (UK) will publish in August. Sheila Crowley is selling rights to "Richard & Judy" pick Rachel Hore's The Sea Palace, about the relationship between a documentary filmmaker and an elderly lady. S&S has US and Commonwealth rights. Fiona Inglis and Jonathan Lloyd are handling rights to Liane Moriarty's The Hypnotist's Love Story about the trials and tribulations of a hypnotherapist. Pan Macmillan has world English rights, publishing in September.

Translation rights are available from David Godwin Associates for Dickens by Claire Tomalin. Penguin has UK and US rights. UK publishers are examining Born by the River by Mark Hudson and Baaba Maal. The book is a biography of Senegalise musician Maal, who has lectured at the British Museum. Also on offer is With My Body by Nikki Gemmell. Translation rights are available for the book with Fourth Estate publishing in the UK and HarperCollins in Australia. The book is about a bored housewife's confrontation of an unresolved old love affair.