— MATTERS OF LIFE AND DEATH Dr. Jerri Nielsen, the physician at the South Pole research station who made headlines last year when she diagnosed — and treated — her own breast cancer, has sold a book on her ordeal to Talk Miramax Books. Nielsen, the subject of a daring Air National Guard rescue operation in October, struck a high-six-figure deal that gives serial rights to Talk magazine and movie rights to Miramax. Talk Books editor in chief Jonathan Burnham will publish the as-yet-untitled tome in the fall…. Norton sealed a $350,000 deal for The Death of Vishnu, a first novel by Manil Suri, a Bombay-born math professor at the University of Maryland. “It’s a very funny account of contemporary Bombay, and very moving,” says Norton senior editor Jill Bialosky, who plans to publish in January.
— BABY TALK Marie Osmond, the perennially upbeat singer and talk-show host, is close to reaching a deal to write a memoir of her battle with postpartum depression, which began last July after she gave birth to her son Matthew. Bidding for the book —– which she would write with her doctor Judith Moore —– is now in the $250,000 range. Osmond, who recently separated from her husband, record producer Brian Blosil, appeared in the fall on both Larry King Live and The Oprah Winfrey Show in an attempt to draw attention to the medical condition.