Ecco has acquired U.S. rights to a prequel of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by its author, David Wrobleski. The book, which is intended as the first title in a planned trilogy, was acquired by Ecco president and publisher Dan Halpern and editorial director Lee Boudreaux from Eleanor Jackson at the Elaine Markson Agency. (Sawtelle, which was published in June 2008, has over 1.4 million copies in print and became an Oprah pick in September.) According to the publisher, the forthcoming book, which focuses on John, the patriarch of the Sawtelle clan, exposes the origins of the family's fictional breed of dog as well as the "fatal relationship" between John's sons.
In a second deal, Ecco has acquired world rights to an anthology Wrobleski will edit called Big Questions About People and Dogs. That book, also acquired from Jackson, is slated for a 2010 publication and will examine "how two species, homo sapiens and canus lupus familiaris, have come to live side by side in such an extraordinary manner."