Confirming the pre-holiday rumors, HarperCollins announced yesterday that it had picked up the world English, audio, and serial rights to The Art of Racing in the Rain, the new novel from Garth Stein, who’s been touted in pre-deal buzz as the next John Grogan or Mitch Albom, no doubt because the family drama is narrated by a loyal dog on the night before he’s scheduled to be put to sleep. “I fell hard for this admittedly unorthodox narrator, and I wasn’t alone—I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen such across-the-board in-house passion for a novel,” said Harper executive editor Jennifer Barth…high praise coming from the editor who’s doing the gruntwork on Michael Chabon‘s next two books, and also signed up a novel-in-verse about fighting gangs of werewolves when she was at Henry Holt, and that after luring Tony Hendra away from Random House to publish The Messiah of Morris Avenue, his fictional followup to the popular memoir Father Joe.
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