Between the Covers 11/10/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books

The former Leeds United footballer Robbie Rogers was a much discussed omission from this year’s Pink List, given that he came out as gay earlier this year – making him officially the only gay professional footballer in the British game (although we didn’t know it until he’d left the British game, which probably says a lot about British football). Ultimately, he didn’t make it because he is American and now plays in America.

However, you can read all about him in his new book, Come  Out to Play, which has just been bought by Penguin and will be published in late 2014. Rogers says: “Secrets can cause so much internal damage. People love to preach about honesty. Try explaining to your loved ones after 25 years you are gay. Life is only complete when your loved ones know you. When they know your true feelings, when they know who and how you love.  Life is simple when your secret is gone. Gone is  the pain that lurks in the stomach at work, the pain from avoiding questions, and at last the pain from hiding such a deep secret.”

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Meanwhile, two other famous Brits are about to publish new fiction. Definitely fiction. The journalist Andrew Marr has just sold rights to his first novel, called Head of State, which will be “set among the world of politicians and journalists” and published by Fourth Estate in late 2014. He says: “After the last few years,  it is often argued that the reality of British politics is so extraordinary and sometimes grotesque that no  satirist could come near. I partly agree, but only partly: after 30 years of reporting on the facts, I have turned to fiction to try to yank back a few remaining curtains.” Meanwhile, the Daily Star Sunday columnist, Garry Bushell, is about to  publish his third Harry Tyler novel. This time police have spotted a link between a series of vigilante killings and “an outspoken right-wing newspaper columnist”. Crikey.

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Colin Firth may be gutted that his character Mark Darcy has been killed off in the latest Bridget Jones novel, but at least he gets a mention in the acknowledgements, where Helen Fielding thanks Firth, and Hugh Grant – but not Renée Zellweger. However, who is the mystery man whose name bears a close resemblance to that of a dashing character in the new novel? V curious.

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