Adult Newsletter: September 2018
Up And Coming For Submission
The news broke before dawn on September 1, 2017, as U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer Michael Kanaan sat in the back of a dark Denali headed to the Pentagon for an early briefing with the Director of Air Force Intelligence. Russian President Vladimir Putin had just publicly declared, “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will rule the world,” thereby igniting a worldwide sense of urgency that energized public and private sectors across the globe to accelerate their artificial intelligence (AI) efforts. AI quickly became the priority in mainstream, 21st century technological competition. Barely a year later, rapidly emerging AI innovations are poised to transform all we know and all we do. Yet, for most of us, AI remains clouded in mystery and misunderstanding. In MANAGING THE METEOR, THE STORY OF HUMAN INNOVATION AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, the Pentagon’s Lead AI Officer for the U.S. Air Force Intelligence Enterprise, Michael Kanaan, brings his extraordinary knowledge, platform, and voice to explain exactly what artificial intelligence is, and what it isn’t. Kanaan tells riveting stories behind some of the most pivotal moments in the history of intellectual evolution and human innovation and connects fascinating principles from various academic disciplines to explain the innate differences between human intellect and machine learning. In the process, he illustrates how artificial intelligence can reach beyond the constraints of our natural, biological intelligence to accomplish infinitely more than humans alone ever could. MANAGING THE METEOR provides a compelling and much needed foundation to better understand the profound implications of AI technology and its inevitable, pervasive role in our future.
There’s been an explosion of gender bias and discrimination exposed in major corporations, universities, government, and Hollywood, but possible solutions are all pointing in the wrong directions. In fact, it is our schools that we need to look to in order to understand where these issues arise and how parents and educators can partner to create greater equity and human decency for girls and boys. In THE CONFESSIONS, Jason Ablin, a 30-year veteran in the field of education, with background in cognitive neuroscience research, takes us on a critical and timely journey through the hallways of our schools and the minds of our children. Our students navigate educational environments which are often a “genderized game,” where sexism, in subtle (and not so subtle) ways is rewarded, and those students who are “gender anomalies” are punished by adults and other children if they do not conform. The results are clear disparities in how both boys and girls achieve and perceive themselves academically. These gender beliefs and behaviors go on to show up in corporate boardrooms, the workplace, and in our homes. The book offers an unapologetic and down-to-earth portrayal of our educational system, sharing hilarious, sometimes tragic, and always inspiring stories of his students, struggling to forge unique and personal identities. Ablin also confronts his own professional and personal history, biases, and challenges regarding gender and provides research-based, clear headed solutions for both teachers and parents to address this 21st century crisis and help our young people to be their best selves.
Julie Metz’s mother Eve was the quintessential New Yorker—steely, savvy, thrifty, pragmatic, and brusque. It was difficult to imagine her living anywhere else except the Upper West Side of Manhattan, but New York City was, in fact, her adopted home. She was born and raised in Vienna to a comfortable, middle class Jewish family until Germany annexed Austria on March 12, 1938. In the two years following the Nazi takeover, her father Julius struggled to find a safe haven for his wife and children. Across the ocean, anti-immigration fervor prevailed as part of the initial America First movement. Miraculously, Julius got his family out of Vienna just in time, thanks to perseverance, a medicine package made of folded paper, a sympathetic American Vice Consul, and good luck. Sixty-six years later, shortly after Eve’s death, Metz found a keepsake book her mother had kept hidden in a drawer for over half a century, filled with farewell notes from her childhood friends and relatives. In that secret book, her mother’s name was Eva. Inspired by this discovery, Metz set out in search of her mother’s lost childhood. The result is EVA AND EVE, a real-life detective story that offers moments of grace, serendipity, and lessons for this polarized moment when once again Otherness is the enemy. Julie Metz is the author of the bestselling memoir PERFECTION. She has been a guest on Cheryl Strayed’s Dear Sugars podcast and Lena Dunham’s Women of the Hour.
On a blustery fall day in 1942, seven-year-old Raye J. Montague stepped into the belly of a captured one-man German submarine and saw her future. A precocious only child with a tinkerer’s heart, Montague looked around at the dials, switches, and copper tubes that surrounded her, and decided that she wanted to grow up and do whatever it was that allowed her to create something so fascinating and intricate. She learned she would need to become an engineer, but it would not be an easy journey. After all, her mother pointed out, she already had three strikes against her: she was female, black, and had a Southern segregated school education. In KICK LIKE THE DEVIL: HOW I ENGINEERED MY WAY OUT OF THE JIM CROW SOUTH, Montague (with Paige Bowers) tells the story of how she overcame those long odds by educating herself inside—and outside—of the classroom. In 1971, she became the first person to design a U.S. Navy ship with a computer, completing the first model of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate in eighteen hours and twenty-six minutes. Because of her efforts and ingenuity, she became the first female program manager of ships in the Navy’s history, making her the equivalent of a corporate chief executive officer. Equal parts coming-of-age memoir, Civil Rights history and reflection on the power of education, Montague’s story will inspire people to pursue their passions no matter what the obstacles.
Award-winning photojournalist Regina H. Boone’s grandfather, Tsuruju Miyazaki, was arrested on December 7, 1941, immediately following Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II. He was forcibly detained by the FBI and never returned home to Regina’s grandmother and their two young sons—her dad who was three and her uncle who was just two. The same Virginia law which prohibited interracial marriage was the one that likely kept them safe. Boone’s father, Raymond, grew up to become a prominent journalist, as well as an editor, publisher, and the founder of the Richmond Free Press, in partnership with her mother, Jean Boone. In 2014, as Raymond lay dying, long-held secrets were finally revealed. The most memorable and impactful one was about his Japanese father whom he barely remembered and whom he had always longed to know. Raymond encouraged Boone to learn more about their family history and uncover the truth about his father’s wrongful incarceration and subsequent death. Unfortunately, Raymond passed away without ever seeing his father again. Two years later, Boone began to search for answers. A FAMILY DISRUPTED peels back the layers of a uniquely puzzling history that happened more than 75 years ago in rural segregated Suffolk, Va., where Boone’s father was born to a Japanese immigrant and a black mother. It is a deeply personal and alluring story about identity, pain, trauma, and healing.
Since the 1980s and the Ronald Reagan administration, every single president has undermined the First Amendment, belittled and fought with the press, and as they demeaned the Fourth Estate, they also eroded its ability to operate. Thus, unsurprisingly, as the second decade of the 21st century comes to a close, the country is left with a president screaming “Fake News,” who neither understands nor cares about the real problems that got us here. In SOLD OUT: HOW THE GOVERNMENT CREATED FAKE NEWS, CNN analyst, noted author and Playboy White House correspondent Brian Karem walks us through the last 35 years of devastation in an explosive book that tells the real story from the ground up of how the government has systematically destroyed the country’s First Amendment. From media empires gobbling each other up, to cost cutting measures that encouraged the removal of experienced reporters, to the closing of bureaus, consolidation of newspapers, Internet cacophony, and “click bait” driven journalism, Karem has seen and worked with all of it. He walks readers through the minefield sewn by successive presidents, outlines the real problems in the press and offers some real solutions. Ultimately, Fake News exists, but SOLD OUT will expose just how much of it was created, generated and made possible by a callous and callow government intent on eliminating an inquisitive press and buying off the Fourth Estate by driving up profits and eliminating competition.
When George Armstrong, a minister and Princeton-educated chemistry professor, sat down to write in his journal on August 1, 1855, he faced a torturous decision. He knew cases of yellow fever had hopscotched from the Irish tenements in Portsmouth across the river into Norfolk, he knew that Norfolk’s mayor evicted the Irish from rundown row houses in his own city and erected a wall, and he knew that despite those efforts the fever had now spread into the densely packed part of town. No one knew what caused yellow fever, but they knew how to stay alive once it broke out: flee. But Armstrong had landed his dream job a few years earlier when he moved to Norfolk to take the helm of one of the largest Presbyterian churches in the South. It was his duty, he thought, to stay in town. Armstrong’s early assessment that the fever was “the mild and manageable type” was far off base, but he continued to stay and document it all, until he found himself fighting for his own life. In 100 DAYS: THE TRUE STORY OF ONE OF THE DEADLIEST EPIDEMICS IN AMERICAN HISTORY, Lon Wagner shadows Armstrong’s street-level view of the most fatal outbreak to ever take root on U.S. soil. More than 3,200 residents – one out of every three – died. The foundations of society crumbled, as yellow fever killed Norfolk’s mayor, its postmaster, bankers, grocery store owners, newspaper publishers, the railroad’s founder, doctors and nurses who came from other cities, even the head of the city’s disaster relief group, as well as several ministers who stayed behind. 100 DAYS is a riveting narrative, detailing the never-before-told story of 41-year-old George Armstrong’s selfless decision to remain in Norfolk to comfort the dying and bury the dead.
A secret virgin who had never been kissed at 32, Danielle Gelfand was a queen in the pop culture universe of VH1, a 4’10’’, overweight, red-lipstick-and-stiletto-wearing executive producer of reality shows who pried deep secrets such as “What moisturizer do you use?” from the Mariahs and JLos, learned how to do split kicks from David Lee Roth, and had hit shows like Booty Call and Love & Hip Hop. Underneath it all, though, she was Facts of Life’s Mindy Cohn meets Mindy Kaling, determined and ready to transform herself into the bootcamp-whipped, online dating, green-juice drinker she felt she had to be in the war of post-35 dating in NYC. Gelfand needed to stay on a timetable for what she truly wanted: a family of her own. But producing her life like a TV reality show with a hard airdate failed miserably. There was the closet dungeon master, then the man who hated that her network never played music videos anymore, and, at a “Super Singles Weekend,” a guy with cream cheese in his mustache who offered to pay her to show him her breasts. Afraid that she might have waited too long to be one of the families strolling down her street, Danielle took matters into her own hands. At 39, she froze her eggs when doing so was still considered science fiction. UNFROZEN: HOW ONE VERY LATE BLOOMER BEAT THE DATING HUSTLE, FOUND LOVE, AND BECAME A MOTHER is the story of how one woman of “advanced maternal age” beat the odds to find love, become a mother and the very best version of herself—no self-help books or sit-ups required. Gelfand relates how dreams can come true in the most unexpected ways and how making peace with the past can happen at any age.
When the gun-hung whites came for George Dinning one night in 1898, after some livestock went missing from a neighboring barn, their intention was to kill him, or at least to chase the freed slave, his wife, and their eleven children off their 126-acre farm. But Dinning would not go quietly. He grabbed a shotgun and fired into the crowd of lantern-toting cowboys, hitting and killing the young scion of a prominent white family. But in western Kentucky, was a black man entitled to defend himself and his family from injustice? After he finally surrendered to the sheriff, he was convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison. By the time he was freed by the anti-lynching Kentucky governor, the mob had chased off his family and burned his farm. Dinning was bent on getting justice, and when word got out that a black man had the audacity to strike back, the mob came again, caught him unawares, and beat Dinning bad, gouging out his eye and leaving him for dead. When he recovered, he teamed up with a white Confederate war-hero-turned-lawyer and sued the mob in federal civil court, which was unheard of. This unlikely couple's fight for justice broke all norms, and the sensational trial played huge in national newspapers, especially when they won, forcing six members of the mob to pay Dinning restitution. In THE NIGHT THE MOB CAME FOR GEORGE DINNING, Ben Montgomery tells the remarkable story of a brave man who stood up for his family and property, despite the odds.
A half century ago President Richard Nixon launched the “war on drugs” as a political gambit to demonize opponents of the Vietnam War. Since 1969, a trillion tax dollars have been spent to arrest and jail millions of Americans for simple possession and use of marijuana. But, somehow, the cannabis subculture managed to survive and thrive, supplied by hippies, misfits, and entrepreneurs who hid their grow patches in the remote valleys of northern California in a region that came to be known as the Emerald Triangle. Local officials looked the other way as elaborate, sophisticated pot farms proliferated to supply a nation hungry for ever more powerful strains of “weed.” Now, as legalization spreads and commercialization booms, crops that once fetched as much as $5,000 a pound are going for $500 and a generation of off-the-grid, tie-dyed pioneers teeters on the verge of extinction. GONE TO POT: HOW MARIJUANA CONQUERED AMERICA is a look back at how we got from the menace to the medicine, told through the stories and misadventures of those who dared to grow it, developed ingenious schemes to get it to market, and now find themselves muscled aside by new complex regulations and large-scale, high-tech, corporate operations. Former Wall Street Journal columnist Foster Winans reports from the fields of the Emerald Triangle as a subculture and a way of life hurtles toward extinction.
MOTHERCOIN is a narrative driven look at the experience of immigrant nannies living and working in the US. Based on personal interviews and extensive research, the book follows the lives of a handful of women from Mexico and Central America as they leave their homes and journey north across the border to seek out work as domestics and nannies in the private homes of Houston, Texas. Together, these narratives tell a larger story about global immigration, working motherhood, and the private experience of our public world. Each of the women profiled in the book tells a unique story, alive with conflict and yearning and an abiding drive to wrest personal choice out of the steely grip of the forces that bear down on them. In illuminating the context of their experiences, MOTHERCOIN reveals the intimate reach of the global structures that limit their choices – transnational families divided across miles of borders and absence, the deep currents of hope and inevitability that run through a culture of clandestine migration, shifting landscapes of feminine service and sexuality, and the ambiguous lines between servant and employee in an unregulated industry heavy with the legacy of a racialized underclass. Along the way, readers will come to know the fullness of these immigrant nannies’ lives and begin to understand the paradox of the “mothercoin”: while one side of the coin beats with emotion and tender affection, the other trades love for wages in the cold hard business of motherwork for hire. Author and literary translator Elizabeth Cummins Munoz is a faculty lecturer in writing and communication at Rice University where she teaches writing seminars on immigrant storytelling and borderland culture. (Please note: Jessica Papin is the agent on this project.)
On a foggy day in January 1913, suffragist Ethel Coope Mackenzie left her home in the fashionable Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco to exercise her newly-won right to vote. But it was not to be. As the Registrar explained, under federal law her recent marriage to a noncitizen stripped her not only of her right to vote, but also of her U.S. citizenship. Just a few years earlier, native-born American Haw Moy was arrested and deported, the victim of the Bureau of Immigration’s stated policy that anyone of Chinese descent was “not . . . entitled to be regarded as an American citizen.” Shortly after the Civil War, Confederate General Robert E. Lee lost his citizenship along with other leaders of the Confederacy. The government ignored his pleas to have it restored during his lifetime, and he died an alien in his own country. In UNMAKING AMERICANS: Citizenship Stripping in the United States, law professor Amanda Frost tells the little-known story of how the government systematically expatriated hundreds of thousands of Americans, and the legal battle to put a stop to the practice. At its heart, the book grapples with what it means to be American, and with ideas of membership, identity, belonging, and exclusion—issues that continue to occupy, and divide, Americans today. Amanda Frost is a professor of law at American University, where she teaches and writes about U.S. immigration and citizenship policy. She has published numerous academic articles and book chapters on these topics, and she regularly litigates immigration cases and testifies before Congress on immigration policy. (Please note: Jessica Papin is the agent on this project.)
We do not normally look to the past as we struggle to understand the technologies that are likely to remake the future – self-driving cars, for example, or artificial intelligence. But history, THE NEWEST THINGS: WHAT YESTERDAY’S NEW TECHNOLOGIES TELL US ABOUT TOMORROW’S, is full of lessons on the creation, reception, chances for success and consequences of new technologies. The book examines the trajectory of a variety of technologies that were seen as unprecedented in their time: from the wheel to the computer, from eyeglasses to GPS, from radio to the iPhone. And the book employs them in an effort to gain perspective on technologies that seem unprecedented today. The seven lessons presented here will help us evaluate, even predict and, therefore, better invest our time, concern and money, if not satisfy our utopian or dystopian urges. There is considerable practical value, in other words, in knowing not just what Steve Jobs would do but what Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers would do. THE NEWEST THINGS is a lively, surprising history of game-changers, upstarts and disruptors. But it will be organized by theme not chronologically. And reading it won’t require an entire summer vacation. The book will shed considerable light on new technologies, ranging from writing to flying cars, in about 70-thousand words. Mitchell Stephens is an author and Professor of Journalism at NYU. His books have been translated into six languages and have received positive reviews or discussions in, among many other publications, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review and the Washington Post. Honors include: New York Times “Notable Book of the Year.” His articles on technology have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Politico. (Please note: Jessica Papin is the agent on this project.)
Clothing is complex; it’s more complex than we acknowledge, and what we wear can alter the way we experience ourselves and the world around us. Depending on which fashion rule you break, the consequences can range from disdain (wear white after Labor Day and you might get snubbed in the Hamptons) to danger (go outside wearing feminine clothing on a masculine body and you might die tonight). One look at YouTuber, filmmaker, and model Ari Fitz, a Black queer androgynous woman, and you can see that she’s not here to conform to any of society’s ideas of who she’s supposed to be. She uses clothing in two ways: to protect herself from external expectations about her body and to communicate to the world who she is at a particular time. In SHE/HER/DADDY, Ari will explore her journey from trying to fit in to dressing for herself, building an identity she’s excited to share with the world one outfit at a time. From the head-to-toe-fire-engine-red suit of her first day of grade school to the boxer briefs that helped her better embrace her sexuality, each essay will tackle how a particular outfit shook Ari’s sense of self, her place in society, and her understanding of identity and gender at large. SHE/HER/DADDY will build on the story she’s already been telling about herself and our world with two documentary shorts, 30 million views to her YouTube channel, more than 150,000 social media followers, and partnerships with and coverage by media and fashion brands like CNN, ASOS, UGG, Glamour, VICE, People, EW, Refinery 29, and more. (Please note, Lauren Abramo is the agent on this project.)
In Myanmar, where civil war, repressive government, and the $40 billion/year jade industry have shaped life for decades, everyone is fighting for their own version of the truth. UNTIL THE WORLD SHATTERS: ROCKS, REBELLION, AND THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH IN MYANMAR by Daniel Combs, the first in-depth piece of reportage about the largest natural resource heist in Asia, reveals Myanmar’s world of secret-keepers and truth-tellers. Ethnic minorities wage guerilla war against a government they claim refuses to grant basic human rights; devout Buddhists launch violent anti-Muslim campaigns; and artists try to build their own havens of free expression. We meet Phoe Wa, a young photojournalist pursuing his dream at a time when the government is jailing reporters, while nationalist voices are on the rise. And in Myanmar’s far north, Naw Thein is caught between the insurgent army his family supports and the business and military leaders his career depends on. His attempt to get rich quickly leads him to Myanmar’s biggest secret: the connection between the jade industry and the longest war in the world. UNTIL THE WORLD SHATTERS tells Phoe Wa and Naw Thein’s stories alongside a larger portrait of Myanmar’s history, politics, and people in a time and place where public trust has disappeared. Daniel Combs, an award-winning international security scholar and author, is the former editor-in-chief of the Asia Pacific Affairs Journal and has written for The Diplomat, Frontier Myanmar, Asia Times, and NPR. UNTIL THE WORLD SHATTERS invites newshounds and casual readers alike to Myanmar—a country that, like our own, stands at a crossroads of democracy, pondering the price of truth. (Please note: Sharon Pelletier is the agent on this project.)
As many women do, writer and activist Shannon Dingle first learned how to play small. She took up as little physical and intellectual space while pursuing her own work, learned the legalistic rules of her politics and political expectations of her conservative faith, and tucked away her discomfort and pain, knowing how little space the world held for those negative feelings. That learning came easy. But the unlearning? She had no guide for that. And that’s where WHAT SECRETS ARE KILLING YOU?: A SURVIVOR’S GUIDE FOR GETTING CURIOUS comes into play. Questions and curiosity, Dingle argues, are what really matter—not answers. What if, she asks, our identities are rooted not in deliberate determinations but in compassionate dialogue? Questions invite others in, in a world in which answers are prerequisites for being present in exclusive places. WHAT SECRETS ARE KILLING YOU? is a book for those who are weary of contrived answers and the noise that bombards us from our TV screens, social media platforms, and newspapers. It serves as a guidebook that encourages readers to explore courageous questions on their own, with Dingle illuminating moments in her own life where she found the strength to start doing so too. She asks readers permission to rest in the questions, actively challenge expectations and cultural norms, and connect by creating a quiet space of listening to someone else—or ourselves. Shannon Dingle’s work and story have been featured in The Today Show, The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Teen Vogue, NPR, Slate, The Washington Post, and Good Morning America. (Please note: Amy Elizabeth Bishop is the agent on this project.)
In 1872, seven years after the Civil War, New York was a city convulsing with social upheaval and sexual revolution. As the year began, the New York Times headlined four stories that symptomized the decay in public morals the editors so frequently decried. Victoria Woodhull’s campaign for the presidency and her demonization as a free lover. Financier Jim Fisk gunned down in a love triangle. Vice hunter Anthony Comstock battling smut dealers poisoning children’s minds. Abortionists thriving – and killing. Author Bill Greer follows these storylines in 1872 SMACKDOWN: SEX, SUFFRAGE, AND SCANDAL IN GILDED AGE NEW YORK, as they intertwine through the year, pulling in others famous and infamous—suffragists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton; Henry Ward Beecher, America’s most beloved preacher and most famous man; Cornelius Vanderbilt, the nation’s richest tycoon; and William Howe, preeminent counsel to the criminal element. When free lover Woodhull unmasks Beecher and his adulterous ways, the Smackdown players face off as the bombshell bursts. Greer deftly illustrates a city in turmoil after post-war upheaval, larger-than-life characters who fascinated the city throughout the year, and social issues that resonate with those of today (rigged elections, everyday shootings, attacks on the press, and more) in a fast-paced and compelling narrative. Bill Greer is a travel writer who with his wife in 1994 launched GORP.com, the early Internet era’s leading community for outdoor adventure and travel, and has been published in the New York Times, USA Today and Discovery.com. (Please note: Amy Elizabeth Bishop is the agent on this project.)
When their cranky, reserved, hoarder mother dies unexpectedly, two underachieving middle-aged siblings are faced with the task of cleaning out her house—old paperbacks, Dollar General household goods, and dozens of paintings their mother produced when she returned to her hobby once widowed. Claude, who has nearly given up on his career as an actor, reluctantly returns to Maine to help the resentful Charlotte, who, despite being the one who never left, inherited merely the house’s contents, while Claude inherits the house itself. Hiring an estate assessor with whom they both have a romantic history, Claude and Charlotte learn their mother’s paintings may have some value, and are even more surprised to find amid the decades of junk truths of their mother’s past that they never suspected. Puzzling over the identity of the woman their mother painted over and over, Claude and Charlotte start to confront their own emotional clutter and step forward into new lives—and to move towards a true sibling bond with each other as well. OUR MOTHER’S HOUSE by Sophia Dembling is a coming-of-age novel for adults; a deft, moving, nuanced portrait of the second coming of age for those of us lucky enough—brave enough—to let ourselves blossom into futures we’ve never dared to imagine. Sophia Dembling blogs for Psychology Today and is the author of the pioneering The Introvert’s Way; her fiction debut will delight and satisfy readers who love Meg Wolitzer and Anne Tyler. (Please note: Sharon Pelletier is the agent on this project.)
Three years ago, Atellus left Rome without declaring his feelings to Laevina, a vibrant socialite from Rome’s upper-class of equites, believing that with his middle-class Carthaginian background he had no chance with her. In his absence Laevina’s grown increasingly discouraged with the shallow and arrogant men of her society and impatient with the very expectation that she marry. She’s eager for freedom to say what she thinks and attend the spectacles that interest her, and impatient for the hefty fortune she’ll be inheriting from her guardian aunt. Now that Atellus has returned, Laevina realizes he’s the only man that’s ever sparked her mind as well as her heart—but he’s returned to Rome even poorer than he was before, and Caesar has just passed legislation that requires equites marry within their own class. Laevina sets her sights on achieving financial independence—and freeing herself from men forever—with a risky gambling scheme, while Atellus, still cherishing dreams of reclaiming Laevina’s affections, works to regain his merchant father’s lost wealth. But both their hopes are threatened when a bitter, well-connected former lover concocts a scheme to threaten what Atellus holds most dear just when Laevina’s own strategies are leading her down a path she can’t easily retrace. Kay Dominguez’s lush, stirring HOUSE OF RUIN reimagines Edith Wharton’s classic work amid the elegance and hedonism of the Roman Empire in the first century. This immersive debut for fans of Madeline Miller and Margaret George is a story as timeless as it is historic, offering enough drama for Bravo while spurring readers to consider our own complicity in the xenophobia, sexism, and classism of our time. (Please note: Sharon Pelletier is the agent on this project.)
When Claire Ripley decides to attend her 20-year college reunion, she does so mainly to take a well-deserved, albeit brief, break from her husband and kids. The 42-year-old never anticipates that it will put her on the precipice of an affair with an old (divorced) boyfriend she barely remembers but who reveals he's been thinking about her for the past two decades. After returning to her thankless suburban mom-related responsibilities, Claire initiates a summer-long email flirtation that comes to a head when Dave, the college suitor, forces the moment to its crisis by writing to ask if she'll meet him for drink at a nearby hotel where he's spending the night while traveling for work. Does she have the strength to resist a dalliance with a man who, unlike her husband, actually remembers when she used to be fun? Or, does she blow up her marriage for the chance to experience the kind of excitement she's all but forgotten existed? Akin to a ticking time bomb, Claire has just 13 hours to make this life-changing decision, and she must do it while writing clickbait "stories" for her soul-destroying job at parenting website, dealing with her son's head lice, and trying to figure out if she's really affair material if she can't even commit to regular bikini waxing. Heartfelt and hilarious, TONIGHT! a debut novel from Liz Alterman, is a commercial contemporary novel that examines losing one’s self amid the perils and pitfalls of modern parenting which should resonate with readers who enjoyed Tom Perrotta’s Little Children and Liane Moriarty’s What Alice Forgot. (Please note, Stacey Glick is the agent on this project.)
From historical author Jenni L. Walsh comes the upmarket fictional memoir of Eleanor Dumont. An online search of Eleanor’s name commonly reveals a moniker—Madame Mustache—that stuck when a man uttered it after Eleanor bested him at cards. But before being reduced to a name attributed to a thin strip of hair on her upper lip, Eleanor became Madame Dumont, the first blackjack dealer of the Wild West. MADAME BLACKJACK imagines the story and the woman history largely overlooks, beginning in 1849 San Francisco. Eleanor’s arrival in the boomtown is much like the discovery of gold—unexpected. In La Nouvelle-Orléans, Eleanor felt lost after burying her family and with the sudden uncertainty of marrying her fiancé, but in the land of opportunity, she can be anybody she wants to be: a French-speaking, card-playing novelty. No one has heard of her vingt-et-un (modern-day blackjack) and she’s all too happy to reinvent herself among the mountain men as a croupier and the originator of the game. Only, she didn’t factor how she’d fall for an artist—a man of a different skin color—who society and the law say she can’t have. When he’s murdered, Eleanor goes on the hunt for his killer, taking her deep into the mining settlements of the Sierra Nevada, along the Oregon Trail with a Native American guide, and to the budding towns of the Wild West. There, Eleanor finds herself as the owner of a gambling emporium, where her past—and her abandoned fiancé—catch up with her. Eleanor’s first-person account is the one of self-discovery, forbidden love, second chances, innovation, and tragedy, appealing to readers of Thelma Adams, Therese Anne Fowler, and Amy Stewart. (Please note, Stacey Glick is the agent on this project.)
Before Trump, before Obama, before smart phones and gluten-free everything, the mortgage crisis and the banks bailout, even before 9/11, there was an America. This is one of its stories. Well, kind of. Justin Gray—young, English, mostly competent—is living on the edge of Atlanta in 2001, struggling to make a living as a wedding photographer while dreaming of being an artist. The novel opens on one of those apocalyptic days of small disasters whose domino effect leaves him single, without a clear source of income and wrestling with the nagging surety that something bad happened to him recently: something he can’t quite remember. Taking it as a call to arms, Justin resolves to rebuild his life along the lines of his ex-girlfriend’s yuppie friends, dumping his foreign quirks, his hobbies and neuroses in a full-on campaign to Fit In and become one of the shining happy people who seem to surround him. It’s far from smooth sailing because among Justin’s various talents are a gift for screwing up the simplest task, and for Speaking His Mind when the absurdities of the culture into which he is trying to blend in become too much for him. This is the story of one hapless foreigner trying to make it big in America, a story of making sense out of the chaos of (almost) contemporary life. Or at least surviving it. Finally, it is a story about the things we value, how we choose them, and what those choices make us into. In the tradition of classics like A Confederacy of Dunces and recent novels like the Pulitzer Prize winning Less, OUT OF FOCUS by Ephraim Gasdby is a comic journey of self-discovery and a wry photograph of a moment in American history snapped moments before it vanished forever. (Please note, Stacey Glick is the agent on this project.)
Small-town Southern girl Haley Gray lands in San Francisco with a few hundred dollars and a dozen aluminum foil-covered biscuits. She prays her grandmother’s recipe is enough to butter up her potential roommates. In a glamourous new city, Haley hopes to escape the memory of Tennessee, and a dark secret from her past—one that seems tattooed on her young heart. But as a preschool teacher, Haley finds herself hopelessly broke. Ferociously determined to make it in the city, she persuades someone to give her a shot selling fine wine for a distributor, even though she knows nothing about wine. Suddenly Haley is thrown to the wine wolves. To survive, she’s got to learn everything she can about wine, at breakneck speed. She fumbles, finding herself in one comical predicament after another, but her unbreakable spirit and insatiable curiosity keep her going. In the dark caves of elusive wineries, at stuffy Michelin-starred restaurants, through cabernet, Champagne, and homemade pasta, Haley discovers the ecstasy of food and wine nirvana. Along the way, Haley revels in the adventure, mystery, and stunning wild beauty of California. And as she works to build her new life, a string of hilariously horrible dates leaves her ready to give up on love, until she finds a man unlike any she’s known. Can a handsome, humble winemaker from Sonoma with a booming laugh and a tender heart change Haley’s path forever? Funny, poignant and deliciously delightful, THE GIRL AND THE GRAPE by wine expert Melanie Wagner chronicles one young woman’s brave journey from bumpkin to sophisticate. Like Sweetbitter for oenophiles, readers will salivate with every new wine epiphany, every gastronomic breakthrough. They will cheer for Haley and cross their fingers she will find a love to fill up her broken heart. (Please note, Stacey Glick is the agent on this project.)
It takes exactly 17 minutes for TV art director Jo Webster’s life to turn into one big, fat cliché when she drops her daughter at college, gets a call that her job is toast, and her husband announces he’s leaving her for a millennial. Now, three weeks later, her fiery best friend Carly convinces Jo to max out her credit card to embark on the life-changing Regal Rajasthan Journey. Unfortunately, Jo’s tour group for this adventure in India is solely composed of mean girl Manhattan socialites barely able to take a break from the pressures of posting hashtags to Instagram and chairing cut-throat gala events. As the trip progresses, other elements complicate Jo’s journey to find a life: rivalry for a handsome French man, an incident atop a sacred rock, and a guru’s peculiar warning. THE TRIP will either end in a bloodbath—or an epic display of girl power. Drawing on her own world adventures for THE TRIP, debut author Pamela Peterson is an Emmy-award winning art director who has also designed costumes for Saturday Night Live and written for the Huffington Post. (Please note: Ann Leslie Tuttle is the agent on this project.)
Is there really any excuse for taking one life for another in self-defense? That’s what rookie homicide detective Madison Crookston wonders when she catches her latest murder case. Liza Rider openly admits she killed her abusive ex-boyfriend with a hockey skate and everyone believes Liza’s plea that she was in danger—except Madison. Still reeling from an ugly breakup with her ex-girlfriend, Madison is inexplicably consumed by the case—and Liza. She knows something is off, especially when a quarter is found on the victim’s body that hints at something the police are missing. Alternating between Madison’s rogue investigation and Liza’s complicated past, both women get caught up in a dangerous and deadly game that proves nothing is what it seems. Walking the fine line between love and hate, MIMICRY by Saratoga Schaefer is a dark, twisty novel of psychological suspense. (Please note: Ann Leslie Tuttle is the agent on this project.)
Celia Jameson grew up believing she’d marry young and find happiness as a stay-at-home mother. Instead, she’s trapped in a loveless—and childless—marriage that becomes bleaker with every failed pregnancy attempt. To ease her pain, Celia secretly turns to painting—paintings that would scandalize her very traditional family and the confining circle of their church friends. While attending a celebration at her neighbor’s house, Celia meets Aseem Chambal, a highly regarded artist and visual arts attorney. Something about Aseem emboldens Celia to share her deeply personal artwork and, although they come from different worlds, a forbidden attraction soon blossoms. It’s only after Celia nearly dies from a miscarriage that she’s forced to decide if this new life she’s building as an artist is merely creating an escape or releasing the woman she is meant to be. Looking at the nature of art and identity, THE COMPOSITION OF US AND EVERYTHING by Morgan Blythe is a stunning novel that chronicles one woman’s self-awakening in her journey to self-empowerment. (Please note: Ann Leslie Tuttle is the agent on this project.)
Divorced from his wife and estranged from his adult daughter Cora, recently retired history teacher Denis Dubois is lonely. But when he uncovers a 1945 letter written in Icelandic to his father, his world changes. It becomes a path to reconnecting with Cora and leads them down a journey through family history, where they uncover the secret past of Denis's French immigrant grandfather, who was shipwrecked upon Iceland’s shores in the early 1900s. Meanwhile, in a parallel story that begins in 1905 Iceland, Ester struggles to survive through storms, perilous countryside, the oppressive Danish colonization, and enforced farmhand servitude. But her intelligence and skill as a seawoman earn her the respect of her fellow crew members—and when Breton fishermen are shipwrecked on the coast, she also finds love in the arms of a man she helped save—Denis’s grandfather. Ester’s legacy continues through her daughter and her poet foster-daughter to the tension-filled WWII American occupation of Iceland. The stories of Ester, Denis, and Cora intertwine in this dual narrative that spans three generations, upending lives and perspectives about what the flotsam of fate can mean. AN UNCERTAIN SEA by author and cultural anthropologist Margaret Willson is a stunning and nuanced look at the secrets every family holds and the deep—and often painful—power of friendship, loyalty, and love.
Rights Round Up
Brilliance acquired audio rights to DEATH CRUISE by Don Davis, BURNED ALIVE and SLEEP MY LITTLE DEAD by Kieran Crowley, VANISHED AT SEA by Tina Dirmann, SEDUCED BY EVIL, THE OFFICER’S WIFE, IF I DIE, DEADLY MISTRESS, and OVER THE EDGE by Michael Fleeman, WHILE INNOCENTS SLEPT by Adrian Havill, SEE HOW MUCH YOU LOVE ME by Amber Hunt, WITH HONOR AND PURPOSE by Phil Kerby and Glenn Garvin, A FAMILY CURSED by Kevin McMurray, IN PLAIN SIGHT by Tom Smart and Lee Benson, THE BTK MURDERS, POISONED LOVE and BLOOD MONEY by Carlton Smith, NOTHING BUT MONEY and MOB COPS by Greg Smith, REDBONE by Ron Stodghill, DARK WATERS by Lee Vyborny and Don Davis, ANSWER THEM NOTHING by Debra Weyermann, and THE SMALLEST PART by Amy Harmon. Audio rights to HIS TRUTH by Riley Hart, THE WIND IS MY MOTHER by Bear Heart Williams, BOSTON MOB by Marc Songini, INK by Elizabeth Hunter, the PINE VALLEY series by Heather B. Moore, the INFERNO series BY TK Leigh, and WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT POLITICS…BUT DON’T by Jessamyn Conrad went to Tantor. Audible has rights to BLIND LOVE, THIS LOVE, and RECKLESS LOVE by Kelly Elliott and BIRTHDAY GIRL by Penelope Douglas. S&S Audio acquired audio rights to THE SIZE OF THE TRUTH by Andrew Smith, while audio rights to POACHED by Rachel Love Nuwer went to Recorded Books. Blackstone Publishing has rights to Stuart Vyse’s GOING BROKE.
Film rights to WIDE AWAKE by Shelly Crane were optioned by Tigner Road Productions. Tweelich Productions optioned film rights to A YEAR STRAIGHT by Elena Azzoni, with Mary Rohlich producing. Nova Ren Suma’s THE WALLS AROUND US was optioned for film by Kicked to the Curb Productions. Film rights to GRANDMA GATEWOOD’S WALK by Ben Montgomery were optioned by The Maraviov Company. FULL DISCLOSURE by Beverley McLachlin was optioned by Sienna Films. Brownstone Productions optioned film rights to GIRLS AUTO CLINIC GLOVE BOX GUIDE by Patrice Banks. THE FALL AWAY SERIES by Penelope Douglas was optioned by VERNACULAR with Adam Gaines and Jessica Shermon producing.
Popcorn Books acquired Russian rights to THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER by Emily X.R. Pan, while Nocturna acquired Spanish rights, and Znanje acquired Croatian rights. Robert Laffont acquired French rights to Amy Gentry’s LAST WOMAN STANDING, and Prószynski acquired Polish rights. Georgian rights to JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman went to Palitra, while Kosmos acquired Serbian rights to JUST ONE DAY and JUST ONE YEAR and Eksmo acquired Russian rights to I HAVE LOST MY WAY. J.A. Redmerski’s KILLING SARAI was sold for German publication to Festa and for Hebrew publication to Ahavot, while her SPIDERS IN THE GROVE and THE DARKEST HALF were sold for Turkish publication to Ephesus. Penelope Douglas’s BIRTHDAY GIRL will be published in Italian by Newton Compton and NieZwykle will publish BIRTHDAY GIRL and PUNK 57 in Polish, while Tinteling Romance will publish PUNK 57 in Dutch. RR Sheth and Co. acquired Gujarati rights for 13 THINGS MENTALLY STRONG PEOPLE DON’T DO and 13 THINGS MENTALLY STRONG PARENTS DON’T DO by Amy Morin, while Galaktyka acquired Polish rights and Jarir acquired Arabic rights to 13 THINGS MENTALLY STRONG PARENTS DON’T DO. Polish rights to BAD FOR YOU, HOLD ON TIGHT, and UNTIL THE END by Abbi Glines were sold to Pascal, Dutch audio rights for LIKE A MEMORY and JUST FOR NOW were sold to Karakter, and Spanish rights for SOMETIMES IT LASTS were sold to Kiwi. Samantha Young’s THE FRAGILE ORDINARY sold for Polish publication to Edipresse, VILLAIN sold for German publication to Ullstein, PLAY ON sold for Slovenian publication to Ucila, and Polish audio rights for THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US and THE FRAGILE ORDINARY went to Storytel Poland. JUMPSTART, CROSSROADS, SHIFTING GEARS, and TEST DRIVE by Riley Hart will be published in French by J’ai Lu. Tarryn Fisher’s MUD VEIN and MARROW will be published in Portuguese by Faro and THE OPPORTUNIST will be published in Slovenian by Zalozba. Konyvmolykepzo acquired Hungarian rights to FOLSOM by Tarryn Fisher and Willow Aster. Eksmo acquired Russian rights to the NEVER NEVER series by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher. Beijing White Horse Time Culture Development acquired Chinese rights to THE SMALLEST PART by Amy Harmon and Euromedia acquired Czech rights to THE BIRD AND THE SWORD. Mariana Zapata’s WAIT FOR IT and KULTI sold to Adel Publishing for Hebrew publication and FROM LUKOV WITH LOVE sold to Marti for Turkish publication. TROUBLE BREWING by Suzanne Baltsar went to HarperCollins Germany. Bulgarian rights for SAVING KANDINSKY by Mary Basson went to EMAS. Peter T. Coleman and Robert Ferguson’s MAKING CONFLICT WORK was sold for Japanese publication to Toyo Keizai Inc. Piatkus acquired UK rights to Kelly Elliott’s AUSTIN SINGLES series. Ebury/Random HOUSE UK acquired UK rights to Diane Fanning’s WRITTEN IN BLOOD. Layne Fargo’s TEMPER was sold for German publication to dtv. THE DISTRACTED MIND by Adam Gazzaley and Larry Rosen will be published in Turkish by Metis Publishing. Nancy Herkness’s THE IRISHMAN’S CHRISTMAS GAMBLE was sold for French publication to J’ai Lu. Spanish rights for FRANCO by Kim Holden went to Futurbox. THE 7 POWERS OF QUESTIONS by Dorothy Leeds went to Discover 21 for Japanese publication. TK Leigh’s CHASING THE DRAGON and SLAYING THE DRAGON was sold for Hebrew publication to S. Simson. Newton Compton acquired Italian rights for FIRE AND BRIMSTONE by RL Mathewson. Simplified Chinese rights for FIRST BLOOD, RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II and RAMBO III by David Morrell went to ChaaohuJingfeng Media Co. DREAMS FROM MY FATHER by Barack Obama will be published in Polish by Agora. Madeline Sheehan’s UNDESERVING was sold for Slovenian publication to Ucila. Kaewkarn acquired Thai rights to EVER AFTER by Nyrae Dawn and Christina Lee. Czech rights for Christopher J. Yates’s GRIST MILL ROAD went to Grada.
World rights to N/A: A BUNCH OF GOOD DRINKS THAT DON’T CONTAIN ALCOHOL by Julia Bainbridge were sold to Ten Speed Press in a deal by Stacey Glick.
Jim McCarthy sold World rights for FOUR DAYS IN MAY and UNTITLED BOOK 2 by Miranda Longstreth-Kenneally to Sourcebooks.
EPIC VEGAN by Dustin Harder went to Fair Winds Press/Quarto in a World rights deal by Stacey Glick.
Dutton bought World English rights to HOW TO WIELD A SWORD by Joy McCullough-Carranza in a deal by Jim McCarthy.
North American rights to William G. Hyland, Jr.’s GEORGE MASON and GODSEND were sold to Regnery in a deal by John Rudolph.
Kate Winkler Dawson’s AMERICAN SHERLOCK went to Putnam in a World rights deal by Jessica Papin.
Jessica Papin sold WHEN BRAINS DREAM by Antonio Zadra and Robert Stickgold to W.W. Norton in a World rights deal.
World rights to Candice Montgomery’s BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY were sold to Page Street in a deal by Jim McCarthy.
IN THE MIDST OF THE SEA by Sean McCarthy was sold to Pace Press/Linden Publishing in a World rights deal by Jessica Papin.
World rights to NEVERLAND by Nicole Kear were sold to Imprint in a deal by Michael Bourret.
THE FIXED STARS by Molly Wizenberg was sold to Abrams in a World rights deal by Michael Bourret.
Suzanne Selfors and Walker Ranson’s LOLA THE UNSHY went to Imprint in a North American rights deal by Michael Bourret.
North American rights to FEMINISM IN 3D by Mona Eltahawy sold to Beacon in a deal by Jessica Papin.
Jessica Papin sold World rights to THE CANCER NEWS by Elaine Schattner, MD to Columbia University Press.
PULSE OF A NATION by Patrick Parr went to Chicago Review Press in a World rights deal.
Nancy Furstinger’s GUY, THE REGAL BEAGLE was sold to HMH Books for Young Readers in a World rights deal by John Rudolph.
World English rights to PLAGUES IN THE NATION by Polly Price went to Beacon in a deal by Jessica Papin.
Michael Bourret sold World rights to BROTHER’S KEEPER by Julie Lee to Holiday House.
A RAVING AUTUMN by Larry Kirwan went to Cornell University Press in a North American rights deal.
Brandy Schillace’s MR. HUMBLE AND DR. BUTCHER was sold to Simon & Schuster for World rights by Jessica Papin.
World English rights to THE LAST HOUR by Diana Urban were sold to Harper Teen in a deal by Jim McCarthy.
SUPER FOOD FOR ETERNAL YOUTH and EDIBLE YOGA by Joy Bauer was sold to Abrams in a World rights deal.
Lucile Scott’s AN AMERICAN COVEN(ANT) was sold to Little A/Amazon in a World rights deal.
MISSION 27 by Mark Feinsand and Bryan Hoch went to Triumph Books in a North American rights deal by Stacey Glick.
Beacon bought World English rights to WOKE: AND OTHER KEY WORDS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE by Crystal Marie Fleming in a deal by Michael Bourret.
World English rights to SOME KIND OF ANIMAL by Maria Romasco Moore went to Delacorte in a deal by Jim McCarthy.
Stacey Glick sold World rights to Barbara Schieving and Jennifer Schieving McDaniel’s INSTANT POT BABY AND TODDLER FOOD COOKBOOKS to Harvard Common/Quarto.
Jenna Kernan’s ONLINE INTRIGUE READ 2018 was sold to Harlequin in a World rights deal by Ann Leslie Tuttle.
BLUE by Nana Brew-Hammond was sold to Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers in a World rights deal by John Rudolph.
BenBella Books bought World rights to LUDICROUS by Edward Niedermeyer.
World rights to PAOLA SANTIAGO AND THE SUNKEN WORLD and UNTITLED BOOK 2 by Tehlor Mejia went to Rick Riordan Presents/Hyperion in a deal by Jim McCarthy.
Stacey Glick sold World English rights to Jonathan Balcombe’s WINGED VICTORY to Penguin.
Amy Harmon’s GIRL CHILD was sold to 47 North/Amazon in a World rights deal.
Random House Books for Young Readers bought World rights to ME VS. THE MULTIVERSE and UNTITLED BOOK 2 by Steve Wilson in a deal by John Rudolph.
World English rights to THERE’S NOTHING MICRO ABOUT A BILLION WOMEN by Mary Ellen Iskenderian went to MIT Press in a deal by Jessica Papin.
Stacey Glick sold World rights to KETO SWEETS, TREATS, AND FAT BOMBS by Urvashi Pitre to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Crystal Fleming’s RISE UP was sold to Henry Holt Books for Young Readers in a World English rights deal by Michael Bourret.
A MONSTER LIKE ME and UNTITLED BOOK 2 by Wendy Swore were sold to Shadow Mountain in a World rights deal by Stacey Glick.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux bought World rights to THE GIRL WHO LOVED PISTILS by Meg Lowman in a deal by Jessica Papin.
World rights to 100 COOKIES and HOLIDAY BAKING by Sarah Kieffer went to Chronicle Books.
James Riley’s UNEARTHED SERIES Books 1-7 were sold to Aladdin in a North American rights deal by Michael Bourret.
FINDING JOY by Gae Polisner and Nora Raleigh Baskin sold to Knopf Books for Young Readers in a World rights deal by Jim McCarthy (and Katelyn Detweiler of Jill Grinberg Literary Management).
Chicago Review Press bought World rights to DIRT MEDICINE by Kevin Grange.
World rights to Catherine Bybee’s new UNITTLED SERIES 1-5 went to Montlake/Amazon.
Amy Elizabeth Bishop sold World rights to June Hur’s TEN THOUSAND RIVERS and UNTITLED BOOK 2 to Feiwel and Friends.
Mary Ann Nicholson’s UNTITLED DIARY SLAM NOVEL was sold to Kensington in a World rights deal by Michael Hoogland.
THE BEAR MUST GO ON by Dev Petty and illustrated by Brandon Todd was sold to Philomel in a World rights deal by John Rudolph.
Lauren Abramo sold World rights to UNTIL YOU CAME BACK by Jay Coles to Little Brown Young Readers.