Yesterday's edition of Publisher's Lunch semi-snarkily indicated that this deal would result in a ton of articles and profiles when the book actually sees the light of day, and well, there are a number of reasons for this clam. First, the deal itself:
27-year-old Marisha Pessl's SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS, the story of a young woman and her professor father, pitched as "Nabokovian in scope and style," with a "Hitchcockian and Donna Tarttish narrative" and "Jonathan Franzen and Lorrie Moore-type metaphors," to Carole DeSanti at Viking, in a major deal, at auction, by Susan Golomb at the Susan Golomb Agency (NA). UK rights to Viking UK, in a significant deal, in a pre-empt; Dutch rights to Ambos/Anthos, in a very nice deal, in a pre-empt.
So right away we've got the many of the necessary ingredients for being news-worthy: Pessl is young, she's female, and her book sold in the mid-to-high six-figure range with lucrative foreign rights sales. But that's not all!
For Pessl, you see, is an "actor, writer and dancer," who has acted in a "surreal adaptation of Edward Albee's Lolita, in which she appeared as a mechanical doll," and who studied English and creative writing at Columbia. But that's still not all!
Because -- as I'm sure you've likely guessed by now -- she's the latest in a long, long line to suffer from "Hot Young Author Chick" Syndrome. I mean, look at that face (after scrolling down a bit.) It's like she's already been Ettlingered. So for those brave souls at major papers who will need to brush up on their research when the time comes, look no further than this post, because I've written all your material for you!
(Btw, for the humor-impaired, it's not that I am mocking Ms. Pessl's appearance or writing ability, just the publishing world's almost masochistic desire to let attractive packages, so to speak, dictate their buying guidelines -- even if the prospect of earning out is rather limited, to say the least.)