BOOKS / In the lists

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Straight in at No 1 goes Edwina Currie, who is a lucky woman: those Tory ankles, a big-mouth reputation she made earlier and a bit of straight-up schlock would spell a pretty sure-fire hit at any time, but the kind of tabloid topicality the last few weeks have brought is the stuff of publicists' dreams. Anyone would think her parliamentary pals had been dishing their private lives all over the press just to help her sales along. If nothing else, the nation's voters will be storming their bookshops to find out if her 'fiction' can come up with anything her colleagues can't top. Just one little question, though (sorry to be a spoilsport): are we supposed to take Mrs Currie seriously, as a politician, ever again? Oh well - she, for one, will be too rich to care.

Talking of steamy blockbusters, George Eliot and Edith Wharton are both in the charts - and when you include Ishiguro's Remains of the Day, Anne Fine's Madam Doubtfire and John Grisham's The Pelican Brief it's tempting to think that, if there isn't a movie or a glossy TV series on the horizon, writers might as well kick in the WPC and go back to the day job. The exception to the rule is A S Byatt, with her canny knack of flattering her readers with high art and middle-brow accessibility. No movie of Possession, then?