Today in books: Jonathan Safran Foer has a new book coming out next year, James Bond's license to kill now comes from Jeff Bezos, and a first edition of The Importance of Being Earnest can be yours for somewhere in the neighborhood of $190,000.
Penguin has acquired the rights to Jonathan Safran Foer's new novel, Escape From Children's Hospital, with plans to publish in "early 2014." According to Penguin, the new work by the Everything Is Illuminated author is "a fictionalised account of when an explosion in a summer camp science class left Safran Foer's best friend without skin on his face or hands, leaving the author unscathed by inches." The incident took place when Foer was nine and he says the book is a "novel is what happened that day; and a truthful, experiential telling of that day is what the novel is capable of." Terms weren't disclosed. [The Bookseller]
A first edition of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest is going up for auction at Sotheby's in New York on Friday. It can be yours, provided you have the $120,000 Sotheby's expects the volume to fetch. It also could be more (or less) than that, because it is an auction. [The Independent]
Amazon has secured a 10-year-deal for the North American rights to publish print and digital editions of Ian Fleming's original 14 James Bond book. Penguin had held the English-language rights to the original Bond books, but their deal expired last month. Corrine Taylor, managing director for Ian Fleming Ltd. said Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd., said the company which is controlled by Fleming's heirs went with Amazon because "we believe that their online abilities will bring our books to a much broader audience than we've had before." Random House reached a similar deal back in March for the English-language Bond backlist outside of Canada and the U.S. Barnes & Noble, which has vowed never to stock titles published by Amazon, is going to have an interesting decision to make once the physical Bond books are published by Amazon, since Barnes & Noble stores currently stock Fleming's novels. Also worth keeping an eye on: what happens to the e-books. Fleming's estate has long held digital rights to the books, and they've been made available to Sony and Amazon. With Amazon getting the rights to the series, "the digital titles currently on sale on Sony store will soon come down," predicts The Wall Street Journal's Jeffrey Trachtenberg. [The Wall Street Journal]