The Hub

News, Notes, Talk

Jim Carrey, Bill Gates, & Rivers Solomon: the week in book deals.

Emily Temple

October 4, 2019, 9:45am

My personal form of astrology is to anxiously trawl Publishers Marketplace every week. No, wait, hear me out: it’s how I can tell the only future that matters: which books I will be reading a year and a half from now. Also, it’s a nice reminder that publishing isn’t dead. After all, there are so many deals to choose from—but here are the book sales announced this week that we here at Literary Hub are most excited about, from intriguing debuts to new books from established faves.

*

Our own columnist and author of the bestselling Mostly Dead Things Kristen Arnett has sold two books: Samson, “a novel of motherhood, expectations, and toxic masculinity within a queer household,” and With Foxes, “a diverse, blackly funny, and provocative story collection,” in a major deal.

*

According to Publishers Weekly, Bill Gates is writing a book “about energy and climate change . . . in which he will set out a vision for how the world can work to build the tools it needs to get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.” Look for it in June 2020.

*

The debut deal of the week goes to NYU MFA and New York City public high school teacher Sidik Fofana, whose Stories From Our Tenants Downstairs is made up of “nine linked narratives about the residents of a low-income housing project in Harlem, exploring how they struggle through their internal conflicts while suffering a shared anxiety of their neighborhood’s rapid gentrification.” Apparently it sold for top dollar at auction, so keep your eyes peeled.

*

But okay, fine, I will also be reading Ellie Eaton’s The Divines which is “pitched as in the vein of Sally Rooney and Emma Cline” and “about intoxicating, destructive relationships between teenage girls and how our memories as adults bring us to interrogate our pasts, weaving between the last days of a disgraced all-girls boarding school during the 1990s and present-day, in which the troubled narrator is reconciling what happened one terrible night all those years ago.” You got me.

*

Teen Vogue is now the voice of the revolution, so it’s easy to get excited for a book from its sex columnist Nona Willis Aronowitz. Bad Sex is being pitched as “a blend of memoir, social history, and cultural criticism that explores the new “problem that has no name” when it comes to female desire—that despite the ubiquity of both sex and feminism, true sexual freedom remains elusive—seeking answers from the author’s life and family history as well as the revolutionaries of the past.”

*

As previously reported in this space: Jim Carrey is writing a novel. It’s called Memoirs and Misinformation, it was written with the novelist Dana Vachon, and Publishers Marketplace describes it as “a semi-autobiographical deconstruction of persona about acting, Hollywood, agents, celebrity, privilege, friendship, loneliness, romance, addiction to relevance, fear of personal erasure, growing up in Canada, and a cataclysmic ending of the world—apocalypses within and without.”

*

Ina Garten has sold a memoir! To Celadon Books. That’s all we know.

*

Bruce Holsinger, author of The Gifted School, has sold a new novel entitled The Displacements, ?in which evacuees converge in massive homeland FEMA camps for displaced Americans after the world’s first Category 6 hurricane, altering lives and futures in unpredictable ways.”

*

MacArthur Fellow and author of Unruly Waters Sunil Amrith has sold The Ruins of Freedom: An Environmental History of the Modern World, which is “a work of global history that braids together environmental history with the history of capitalism from 1500 to the present.” I can already tell it will be required reading.

*

All hail Rivers Solomon, who has sold a genre-bending work of gothic fiction called Sorrowland to MCD/FSG. The book “wrestles with the tangled history of racism in America and the marginalization of society’s undesirables, about a black woman with albinism, the mother of infant twins, who is hunted after escaping a religious compound and then discovers that her body is metamorphosing and that she is developing extra-sensory powers.”

%d bloggers like this: