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7 February, 2023

An Assassin in Utopia: The True Story of a Nineteenth-Century Sex Cult and a President’s Murder, by Susan Wels

“Wels’s kaleidoscopic romp is an undeniable thrill. This is a book to be sidled up to like a buffet…An expert and well-paced dissection of post-Civil War politics.” ––The New York Times Book Review

“Packed with colorful characters and well-chosen details, this book is an engrossing account of Victorian-era American eccentricity. I was thoroughly immersed. The ending is a pageturner as Wels describes Garfield’s last days alive, oblivious to Guiteau skulking in the shadows.” ― The Washington Post

This true crime odyssey, published by Pegasus Crime, February 2023, explores a forgotten, astonishing chapter of American history, leading the reader from a free-love community in upstate New York to the shocking assassination of President James Garfield.

It was heaven on earth—and, some whispered, the devil’s garden.

Thousands came by trains and carriages to see this new Eden, carved from hundreds of acres of wild woodland. They marveled at orchards bursting with fruit, thick herds of Ayrshire cattle and Cotswold sheep, and whizzing mills. They gaped at the people who lived in this place—especially the women, with their queer cropped hair and shamelessly short skirts. The men and women of this strange outpost worked and slept together—without sin, they claimed.

From 1848 to 1881, a small utopian colony in upstate New York—the Oneida Community—was known for its shocking sexual practices, from open marriage and free love to the sexual training of young boys by older women. And in 1881, a one-time member of the Oneida Community—Charles Julius Guiteau—assassinated President James Garfield in a brutal crime that shook America to its core.

An Assassin in Utopia is the first book that weaves together these explosive stories in a tale of utopian experiments, political machinations, and murder. This deeply researched narrative—by bestselling author Susan Wels—tells the true, interlocking stories of the Oneida Community and its radical founder, John Humphrey Noyes; his idol, the eccentric newspaper publisher Horace Greeley (founder of the New Yorker and the New York Tribune); and the gloomy, indecisive President James Garfield—who was assassinated after his first six months in office.

Juxtaposed to their stories is the odd tale of Garfield’s assassin, the demented Charles Julius Guiteau, who was connected to all of them in extraordinary, surprising ways.

Against a vivid backdrop of ambition, hucksterism, epidemics, and spectacle, the book’s interwoven stories fuse together in the climactic murder of President Garfield in 1881—at the same time as the Oneida Community collapsed.

Colorful and compelling, An Assassin in Utopia is a page-turning odyssey through America’s nineteenth-century cultural and political landscape. 

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“Readers will find Guiteau’s devolution into an assassin and the history of Oneida both fascinating and shocking, with uncanny parallels to today’s news stories.” ― Library Journal

“Juggling incels and libertines, the mighty and the mightily deranged, Susan Wels deftly brings us this close to an amazing cast of real-life nineteenth century characters—admirable and horrific, brilliant and doomed, messianic and utterly mad—making them (and their vivid emotions) newly relatable to our era. You’ll be casting An Assassin in Utopia in your head, even as it demonstrates that Free Love is anything but, and that one man can make a difference, often in the worst way possible. This is like David McCullough on acid.” — Chris Connelly, ABC News correspondent and ESPN reporter

“Susan Wels has assembled a large and rowdy cast of characters in this immensely enjoyable and engrossing book. Self-proclaimed messiahs, patronage-dealing politicians, ink-stained journalists, table-rapping mediums, tent-raising charlatans: All are trying to make their mark in Gilded Age America. And, remarkably, all their paths cross in An Assassin in Utopia, with surprising and tragic results.” ― John Kelly, Columnist, The Washington Post

“Susan Wels is a gifted and masterful storyteller. Her book is a fascinating, well-told tale of a presidential assassination and sexually unbridled would-be utopia. She provides vivid, nuanced details of the time and some of its most interesting characters —including publisher Horace Greely, showman P. T. Barnum, feminist and foreign correspondent Margaret Fuller, the spirit-seeking Fox sisters, a cross-dressing Union spy, and major political figures of the period. An Assassin in Utopia is a deeply researched, riveting book told with impressive command and narrative power.  I strongly recommend it.” ― Michael Krasny, Professor Emeritus of American Literature and retired host of public radio’s KQED Forum


3 February, 2023

THE LIBERALS: How American Learned to Tell the Truth, Beat the Fascists, and Create a Free World, by Joseph Kelly, Ph.D.

Photo credit: Leslie McKeller

By Joseph Kelly, Ph.D., University of Charleston professor and author of MAROONED (Bloomsbury), THE LIBERALS takes readers to the culture wars of the ’20s and ’30s, revealing how a second generation of founders—activists, writers, artists, publishers, professors, jurists, and journalists—defeated the forces of fascism to save American democracy. (Bloomsbury, World rights)


1 February, 2023

Black History Month Event with Charity Elder 2/2 7pm NYC

It’s Black History month, and a perfect time to read POWER: The Rise of Black Women in America by Charity Elder. She will be doing an event tomorrow, 2/2, 7 pm, hosted by the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Charity will be in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and celebrated radio talk show host Karen Hunter. Following the conversation, there will be a reception and book signing. For more details and to RSVP: https://community.hunter.cuny.edu/…/charity-c…/2/2023…


24 January, 2023

UNTITLED NOVEL, Marilyn Simon Rothstein

From the author of Crazy to Leave You and Husbands and Other Sharp Objects comes a new dramedy, in which a woman leaves her podiatry practice and her newly laid off husband in Florida and flies to the Berkshires to babysit her granddaughter, only to find there are already two other grandmas in town, and that her daughter’s marriage is in shambles. (Lake Union/Amazon Publishing, World rights, Spring 2024)

 


19 January, 2023

ENOUGH ABOUT THE BABY, Becky Viera

An unapologetic guide to the first year of motherhood, Enough About the Baby is a newborn book for women who recognize the necessity of self-care—even if sometimes the rest of the world does not.

“Vieira’s candor about her struggles as a new mother and the input from experts results in a volume that’s at once practical and deeply personal. This is a must for new and mothers-to-be.”
Publishers Weekly

Superheroes don’t have babies; real and imperfect non-superhumans do. When we come to terms with this, the result is a happier and less traumatizing start to motherhood. Becky Vieira, the mom behind the popular Instagram account @WittyOtter, provides actionable advice for new parents on what to expect after pregnancy and how to successfully navigate the frustrations and challenges that come with having a baby. Vieira draws on her own experiences and interviews with moms and experts to get to the bottom of the toughest and most taboo topics—from managing nosey in-laws and an anxious partner to surviving the first postpartum poop and when to seek out treatment for postpartum depression. This book is filled with hacks, tips, and tricks that only the most seasoned—and enlightened—mom knows.

With its combination of practical advice and the signature humor that made Vieira a hit on Instagram, Enough About the Baby (Union Square Press, March 2023) makes a perfect baby shower gift for first time moms.

“Becky Vieira has been an enduring and beloved voice in the postpartum community advocating for women through her personal experiences, precise observations, and unequivocal humor. Her new book, Enough About the Baby, is a solid reference for new moms who are navigating this challenging time in their lives, and who seek comfort from those with shared experiences and the wisdom to accept the ups and downs as part of this spectacular journey of motherhood. Perhaps the most important message Vieira teaches the reader is: ‘It’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay for this journey to also be about you. In fact, you and your baby will actually thrive if you do.’”
—Karen Kleiman, author of Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts“Becky shatters the crippling silence surrounding the truth about motherhood. Finally, someone is honestly telling new mums what they need to know, not what we think they want to hear. We’re all tragically vulnerable to the darker aspects of this journey, and no amount of privilege can stop the crippling depression, anxiety, and loneliness that many mothers face. One of the biggest problems is that people shy away from talking about this, and mums don’t know what to expect or how to find help. Finally, we have a book that blows the lid off topics many have considered taboo—and now this important conversation can begin. Becky is a vocal advocate for maternal mental health and provides readers with what we all need: information, resources, support, and compassion. This is a book I wish I had as a new mum, and it gives me hope that future mothers won’t suffer like some of us did.”
—Anna Paquin, Academy Award–winning actress and mom of twins

Enough About the Baby brilliantly combines humor and compassion to present the authentic reality of the first year of motherhood. Becky passionately advocates for moms, empowering us to value our health and welfare just as much as our baby’s—and it’s about time someone stepped up to do this! This isn’t just helpful information for expecting and new moms, it’s essential reading.”
—Laura Benanti, Tony Award–winning actress, author, and mom of two

“Becky Vieira is the brutally honest mom friend that EVERY new mom needs in her corner. That friend who won’t sugarcoat things. Her book is full of useful information, personal insights, and Becky’s unique brand of humor. Enough About the Baby is absolutely going to be my new go-to baby shower gift.”
—Tara Clark, author of Modern Mom Probs

“Gone are the days of flowery, intrusive, peppered-with-toxic-positivity baby advice. We’ve entered a new era in this society of ours, ladies—the era of compassionate truth, which Becky Vieira so eloquently and artistically delivers in a brilliant roadmap for new moms. By blending her own experience, good and bad, with the brutally honest truth of what motherhood is really like in the first year, Vieira leaves no stone unturned when it comes to what to expect when you’re expecting and the candid details of what bringing baby home truly means for mama, and hits the nail on the head by reminding us that it’s enough about the baby—let’s make sure mom is getting what she needs to survive this new world.”
—Michelle Dempsey-Multack, author of Moms Moving On

“This is an honest, eye-opening look at how raising a baby is equal parts maddening and heartwarming. It will make any parent say, ‘I am not alone.’”
—Clint Edwards, bestselling author of Fatherish

“The hilarious and practical how-to guide that every new parent needs. I cry-laughed, nodded, and was wowed by the advice. This is the perfect gift for every mother-to-be. Where was this book when I was a new mom?”
—Sally Hepworth, New York Times bestselling author and mom of three

“I so wish I had this book when I was pregnant with my first. Becky gives all the far-too-honest (and therefore helpful) advice that moms never seem to get. So much is written about the baby’s journey; I love that she’s focused on the mom’s journey through the first few years instead. I would call this book laugh-out-loud funny if it weren’t so on-the-nose about just about everything related to new motherhood.”
—Kate Auletta, Editor-in-Chief, Scary Mommy

Becky Vieira is the voice behind the Instagram mom account, @WittyOtter (120k+ followers), where she is leading the shift in the way women speak about motherhood. For more than seven years she has been a go-to writer in the parenting space for popular outlets including BabyCenter and Scary Mommy. Before becoming a writer, Vieira spent more than fifteen years as a publicist for some of the biggest public relations agencies representing major consumer brands, including Mattel’s Barbie®, Disney Consumer Products, and the charitable program Stand Up to Cancer. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son.

12 January, 2023

BETWEEN THE WIRES, Waitman Beorn

An account of the Janowska camp in Lviv, a rare urban camp, prison, slave labor camp, transit camp and extermination site where half a million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.  This largely untold story, set in what is Ukraine today, draws on a wealth of sources including more than 300 testimonies and material obtained from private archives of descendants of the perpetrators (University of Nebraska Press, World Rights, Fall 2024).


5 January, 2023

Chicago Writers Association – Let’s Just Write Conference

I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be at the Chicago Writers Association Conference March 25-26, 2023.  I’ll be there as a panelist and also available for one-on-one sessions with writers.  Chicago is a great town, so I hope to see you there. For more information:  https://www.chicagowrites.org/conference

–Joelle Delbourgo


4 January, 2023

JDA is open to queries again!

As of January 4, we are reopening to queries. However, we ask that before you send us a query, you read our submission guidelines (go to our submission tab and click) and follow the suggestions there precisely.  We will not respond to all queries, not because we aren’t nice–we are very nice–but because we have limited time and resources.  If we are interested or want to see more, you will hear from us.

–Joelle & Jacquie


22 December, 2022

Happy Holidays – We’ll see you in 2023!

Sharing our holiday card, with gratitude to our authors and partners –the editors, co-agents and publishers around the world who help to bring great books to readers everywhere. Our offices are closed, but we look forward to reconnecting in 2023. Cheers!


15 November, 2022

THE CHILD WHO NEVER SPOKE: 23 1/2 Lessons in Fragility, Cristina Nehring

Essayist and author of A Vindication of Love Nehring’s remarkable tribute to her chromosomally-challenged little girl, Eurydice, who awakens a fiercely maternal love and teaches her–and us–about joy. (North American rights/Heliotrope Books/Fall 2023)