Tuesday, December 02, 2003

A Late Lunch  

Scanning the non-fiction side first:

Trudy Garfunkel's KOSHER FOR EVERYBODY, introducing the benefits of Kosher products to consumers both inside and outside the Jewish
community, to Alan Rinzler at Jossey-Bass, by Richard Curtis.

Well sure, that's all well and dandy, but how can kosher be for everyone when there's more than 300 different organizations which deem food as such, each believing it is the only authority to do so? But this is the kind of questioning that gets me in trouble with my more ultra-Orthodox relatives, so moving on...

Nick Webb's WISH YOU WERE HERE: THE OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY OF DOUGLAS ADAMS, the authorized biography, to Betsy Mitchell at
Ballantine, in a good deal, by Russell Galen at Scovil Chichak Galen (NA).

Oooh, this looks mighty tempting. Might have to go in and reread the first three of the Hitchhiker books (the other two, frankly, were rather crappy for my tastes.)

Mike Jay's THE AIR LOOM GANG, the bizarre true story of James Tilly Matthews, a Welsh spy and madman in 18th-century London who believed his mind was being controlled by a gang of revolutionary "terrorists" and their dastardly "air loom" machine, and who remains one of the most famous cases in psychiatric history, to Jofie Ferrari-Adler at Four Walls Eight Windows, by Helen Edwards at Transworld UK.

Loony spies. Conspiracy theories. Works for me. Never mind that there has to be a novel treatment out in the ether somewhere, preferably on the crime fiction side.

New York Post sports columnist Mike Vaccaro's DAMN YANKEES, DAMNED SOX, a detailed look at the intense seven-game 2003 ALCS,
used as a backdrop to explore the most bitter, heated rivalry in all of sports, to Jason Kaufman at Doubleday, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, by Greg Dinkin and Frank R. Scatoni at Venture Literary.

Ahh, the rivalry. Reminds me of a conversation I overheard in a not-so-crowded subway station heading down to Greenwich Village one Sunday morning. Three teenage boys, and only one a die-hard Red Sox fan. He had no chance in the argument, much as he tried to defend his position against the Yankee-lovers.

Turning to fiction:

Former senior editor at Spin Dana Shapiro's THE EVERY BOY, about a precocious 15-year-old boy who drowns mysteriously and leaves behind a bizarre and often hilarious diary that educates his parents about his surprisingly colorful life and death, to Heidi Pitlor at Houghton Mifflin, for publication in spring 2005, by Leslie Falk at Collins McCormick.


First-time novelist and poet Martha O'Connor's THE BITCH POSSE, an anti-chick lit novel set in a small-town high school in Illinois in 1988, featuring a cheerleader who dropped normality to join forces with the care-taker of her drug-addled aging hippie Mom and the most brilliant student in the school (and also the one who dives into life the most and finds herself in way, way, way over her head) to form the Bitch Posse, a take-no-prisoners bundle of fierceness, also revealing each of these women today, struggling in their intensely separate ways to make peace, if they can, with a devastatingly horrid event where things went far too awry, to Jennifer Endlerin at St.
Martin's, by Mary Evans (NA).

This has much promise. 1988, the tail end of the wasteland that was the 80s (not that any other decade has been much better, granted.) Anti-chick lit. Sarcastic characters. Humor. O'Connor's in good hands, as she'll be edited by the woman responsible for making sure Jennifer Crusie and Janet Evanovich are up to snuff for reader consumption.

Colin Cotterill's THE CORONER'S LUNCH, a first mystery novel set in the Far East, to Laura Hruska at Soho Press' Crime imprint, by Richard Curtis.

First of all, I love SOHO. They pick high quality stuff and package them with gorgeous covers at trade paperback prices. Second, it looks like John Burdett's BANGKOK 8 has indeed started a new mini-trend for Far East-set books. Be interesting to see if Cotterill's is a tale more conventionally told.

And finally, methinks J. Robert Lennon won't have to worry his little head too much anymore about the perils of being a midlist author after this particular bit of news:

Film rights to J. Robert Lennon's fourth novel MAILMAN, a black comedy about a neurotic mailman whose quest for love and professional fulfillment causes him to descend into madness, optioned to Paramount with Robert Evans producing, by Josie Freedman at ICM's Los Angeles office on behalf of Lisa Bankoff at ICM.

Robert Evans, though. Hmm. Not sure what to think of that. But hey, it's money in the bank for Lennon, enough that whatever financial difficulties he may have had before are at least somewhat assuaged now.

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