THAT WELL-KNOWN critic James Major recently described his father's forthcoming memoirs as "a rollicking good read". It's hard to imagine anything to do with John Major conforming to that adjective. However, his HarperCollins editor, Michael Fishwick, said that the book will be "the most revealing book to come from that office that there's ever been and he's writing it himself". Fishwick claims to have seen some 30,000 words and emphasises "it will be a work of non-fiction, as opposed to some political memoirs".
PITY POOR Eric Hobsbawm, the distinguished left-wing historian whose daughter Julia helped create the New Labour image her father must despise. A review of his essay collection Uncommon People in Publishers Weekly, the US trade mag, calls him "the late historian". Julia and his British publishers, Weidenfeld, will testify that he is very much alive and kicking.
EVEN THE most urban of us can recite chunks of the shipping forecast, though heaven knows what it means. Now a new book of paintings aims to give us a clue. Rain Later, Good contains 44 watercolours plus sketches by Peter Gollyer, who travelled 16,000 miles to capture the essence of "Dogger, Fisher, German Bight ... Cromarty ... Forth Tyne ...". His paintings aim to "demystify" the forecast and conjure up the locations and the people who live and work in them. The book is published by Thomas Reed, one of the oldest nautical publishers, and marks the 175th anniversary of the RNLI, for which it raises funds.
EARLIER THIS year, Molly Parkin's daughter, Sophie, burst into print. Now it's the turn of Erica Jong's 19-year-old, Molly Jong-Fast. Her first novel, Girl, has been the subject of a slew of international deals and, in the UK, Hodder & Stoughton bought it for a tidy sum. The publishers describe the book as "The Beautiful and the Damned for the millennium" and the writing as mature beyond her years.Reuse content