Books: Cover Stories

NO WORD yet on a British deal for Paul Burrell, hitherto loyal butler to the late Princess of Wales. He is at work on a biography of her and Warner - who published Kitty Kelley's book on The Royals - have snapped up US rights. While there is no suggestion that Burrell will dish the dirt, he is certain to re-open wounds and perhaps reveal a side of the Princess unknown to Andrew Morton.

MORTON, MEANWHILE, is rumored to be in the early stages of a biography of Hillary Clinton, on whom he doubtless gained a few insights from his most recent subject, Monica Lewinsky (who is, by all accounts, infatuated with her biographer). In the same ball park, Fergie, recently said to be embarking on a literary novel, is now considering a Gail Sheehy-style book about rites of passage.

HAVING HAD such a success with the film of The First Wives Club, feisty Olivia Goldsmith is now doing things the other way round. Through New York agent Nick Ellison, she has just sold screen rights to her next, as yet unwritten, novel. Alan Ladd of Paramount has paid $1.7m for Bad Boy School, described as a twist on Pygmalion, with the good guy being coached on how to get the girls. Another screenplay has been sold to Spielberg's Dreamworks. The books will eventually be published in the US by NAL/ Dutton, part of Penguin, who signed on for a seven-figure sum. No word yet on a British deal but it's likely Goldsmith will quit HarperCollins - perhaps for Penguin UK, who are buying aggressively.

THE PRIME Minister has turned down the opportunity to wear his Christian heart on his sleeve by writing an introduction to one of Canongate's Pocket Canons series. However, the Scottish publisher has scored a coup by persuading the Dalai Lama to come on board for Epistles, while Bono from U2 will have his say on the songwriter who penned Psalms.

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