City on Fire, the debut novel that scored a film deal from Scott Rudin before a book contract was in place, has now found its publisher.
Knopf has a good track record with smart literary fiction. It’s finishing up a very successful 2013 campaign that saw it publish two of the year’s hottest books: Sheryl Sandberg‘s Lean In and Dan Brown‘s Inferno.
The author of City on Fire is 34-year-old Garth Risk Hallberg, whose previous work was the humorous novella A Field Guide to the American Family. Hallberg has also contributed to The New York Times, Slate and The Millions, a book blog. He has also taught writing at Sarah Lawrence and Fordham.
He is said to have taken six years to write City on Fire.
Rudin praised the book and its movie potential to the Times: “The scale of it, the vision of it, the big political ideas, how tightly knitted all the stories are to each other and how densely and pleasurably plotted it is, made me feel like, for the purposes of a movie, he had done the lion’s share of the work that anyone would have to do.”
Knopf editor-in-chief Sonny Mehta called it “spacious and extremely ambitious” with a “richness” that grabs readers.