Another book-bidding war spiced up last week’s pre-holiday doldrums, as producer Richard Zanuck beat out Universal Pictures to pick up the rights to the yet-to-be published novel “Goodbye Saigon.”

The deal, which sold for a low-six-figure price against a mid-six-figure option, was negotiated by Judy Clain of Michael Siegel & Associates, the New York-based agency that last week guided the multimillion-dollar sale of Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” to Bregman/Baer (Daily Variety, Nov. 24).

Siegel’s staff handled the Hollywood sale on behalf of literary agent Lois Wallace. Neither Clain nor Wallace could be reached for comment.

“Saigon” was written by Nina Vida. She has written four books, although this is the first to be published. It will be published by Crown in 1994.

“Saigon” is the story of an unusual friendship between a Vietnamese woman and a Jewish woman who form an illegal law partnership in Little Saigon. Insiders describe it as a cross between “The Joy Luck Club” and “Sophie’s Choice.”

At one time, the manuscript had garnered interest from TriStar and 20th Century Fox, in addition to Zanuck’s company and Universal, sources said.

Sources said it was unlikely that Vida would be brought in to write the screenplay adaptation.

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