New York Times Reporter Scores Seven-Figure Book, Film Deal for Debut Novel

Jerry Useem

Fox 2000 picked up rights to the 'Bonfire of the Vanities' meets Edith Wharton story publishing in 2016

New York Times reporter Stephanie Clifford, who covers the state and federal courts in Brooklyn, sold the book and film rights to the debut novel she’s been “quietly writing for years.” St. Martin’s Press picked up publishing rights to Everybody Rise, described by St. Martin’s editor Charles Spicer as “Edith Wharton meets Bonfire of the Vanities.”

Publication is set for 2016. Terms of the deal were not revealed, but Publisher’s Weekly put her book advance at over $1 million.

The book is about “a new generation of heirs and strivers [who] are jockeying for social power and discovering that class, especially on the Upper East Side, still holds sway” seen through the eyes of “an irresistibly flawed heroine who hides her insecurity behind sharp intelligence and biting wit [as she] relentlessly elbows her way up the social ladder.” The title comes from a line in the Stephen Sondheim song “Ladies Who Lunch.”

After the book deal closed, film rights were picked up by Fox 2000 with Karen Rosenfelt (Twilight, The Devil Wears Prada) producing and executive Greg Mooradian overseeing for Fox. UTA’s Howie Sanders handled the sale of film rights.

About the book, St. Martin’s president and publisher Sally Richardson added, “Charlie isn’t exaggerating when he compares this to Edith Wharton and Bonfire. Everybody Rise is that rare and beautiful novel that is both compulsively readable and illuminates the social milieu of its time. And all with unforgettable characters and rich detail that guarantees it a place among modern classics.”