If You Were a Rich Man — You'd Likely Have a Book Deal

With Ant Farm — the very odd, funny, and frustrating humor collection from Simon Rich, Times heavy-hitter Frank's No. 2 Son — attracting "Sunday Styles" attention last weekend in advance of yesterday's pub date, his older brother Nathaniel, an editor at the Paris Review, has his own hot book making the rounds of houses. We're hearing that The Mayor's Tongue, on submission from Elyse Cheney Literary Associates, follows a widower and a young New Yorker whose paths converge in a small Italian town whose mayor is a supernatural evil force. (An Italian mayor as a supernatural but malevolent force? Wherever did he get the idea?!) Editors took it home over the weekend to read, so we should know soon whether Rich is the next Nicole Krauss (to whom he's being compared, both positively and negatively) or the next — well, the next guy whose book we never really heard anything about. In case of the latter, good thing the Rich family Seders are already over.