Time West Coast Editor Sam Lansky Scores Publishing Deal for Debut Novel (Exclusive)

Alex Marsh King
Sam Lansky

Harlequin/HarperCollins imprint Hanover Square Press will publish the journalist and author's debut novel, currently titled 'Broken People,' in the spring of 2020.

Following the success of his 2016 memoir, Time magazine West Coast editor Sam Lansky is making the move to fiction and has struck a deal with Harlequin/HarperCollins imprint Hanover Square Press to publish his debut novel. 

Currently titled Broken People, the tome is described by Hanover Square as Bright Lights, Big City meets A Little Life, and it follows a young man on the verge of emotional collapse who "seeks healing in a dramatic and unexpected way." Through flashbacks, the novel is said to explore "the challenges of intimacy and sobriety, the intersection of materialism and mysticism, and the ways in which the body stores heartache and trauma."

Lansky, 30, a Los Angeles transplant who grew up in Manhattan, pulled from his experiences living in New York for most of his 20s and funneled it through a fiction lens for Broken People. Some of the themes, however, are not new to his laptop: Lansky explored his own sobriety in The Gilded Razor, the memoir which is being developed as a feature film by Oscar-winning writer-director-producer Dustin Lance Black.

In Gilded Razor, Lansky exposed the double life he led as a teenager, as New York City prep school student with Ivy League aspirations whose life was derailed due to a devastating addiction to prescription pills. When it came out, literary agent-turned-author Bill Clegg, who chronicled his own sobriety in Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, praised Lansky as a "beautiful writer," adding that "if he weren’t an addict, his first book would be about something else, but I have no doubt it would be great, as is his memoir The Gilded Razor. But Sam Lansky is an addict, and he has made something fine and useful and lasting from his struggle. His account of using, hitting bottom and getting sober at an astonishingly young age is a powerful addition to the literature of active addiction and recovery."

That book introduced Lansky's writing talents to the world outside of journalism. In addition to Time, Lansky's work has appeared in Rolling Stone, New York magazine, The Atlantic, Grantland, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Out, Billboard and others. 

Lansky says he's "so thrilled" to be working with the team at Hanover Square on his first novel, which is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2020. Added Hanover Square editorial director Peter Joseph: “Sam Lansky’s Broken People is a mesmerizing, gorgeously written novel and a crowning achievement in autofiction. We couldn’t be happier to publish this singular and necessary voice."

Hanover Square Press launched in 2017 and has since focused on original fiction and narrative nonfiction. Recently published titles include the New York Times best-seller Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency by Dan Abrams and David Fisher, The Emperor of Shoes by Spencer Wise, and the forthcoming I’ll Be There for You: The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller.

Hanover Square Press editor John Glynn is credited with negotiating the deal for Broken People on behalf of his company for North American, audio and first serial rights. Lansky's deal was done by his reps at CAA. He is also repped by Anonymous Content. 

Aside from juggling the chores required by a new book project, Lansky still has been churning out stories for Time, most recently writing about Amazon Studios' addiction and recovery–focused new film Beautiful Boy starring Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet. The latter star loved what Lansky wrote, praising the article on Instagram like this: "Sam Lansky at Time magazine wrote an article about Beautiful Boy that for me best describes what the movie is about, and why Steve Carrel and I got involved."