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It seems that while Becks was hard at work on his memoirs for Hodder, Her Indoors was also writing away. Just in time to have US and foreign publishers salivating in the aisles at next week's Frankfurt Book Fair, Penguin UK has announced that it's had Posh under a £1m. contract since April. Like hubby, Mrs B wants to "set the record straight," particularly in the wake of Andrew Morton's unauthorised biography. Penguin was offered the book exclusively, which will infuriate other publishers. Endearingly, Posh appears to cling to the belief that having the Penguin imprimatur still conveys gravitas. Her publisher Tom Weldon, who also handles Naked Chef Jamie Oliver, is thrilled. Posh's sales target to beat: Geri Halliwell's 400,000.

It seems that while Becks was hard at work on his memoirs for Hodder, Her Indoors was also writing away. Just in time to have US and foreign publishers salivating in the aisles at next week's Frankfurt Book Fair, Penguin UK has announced that it's had Posh under a £1m. contract since April. Like hubby, Mrs B wants to "set the record straight," particularly in the wake of Andrew Morton's unauthorised biography. Penguin was offered the book exclusively, which will infuriate other publishers. Endearingly, Posh appears to cling to the belief that having the Penguin imprimatur still conveys gravitas. Her publisher Tom Weldon, who also handles Naked Chef Jamie Oliver, is thrilled. Posh's sales target to beat: Geri Halliwell's 400,000.

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We won't all - and, in Britain, we can't - rush to buy the work of Gao Xingjian, the French-based dissident who has picked up the Nobel in preference to the Chinese authors more often tipped (poet Bei Dao, or the novelists Mo Yan and Zhang Xianliang). So, for an available taste of the Cultural Revolution and its aftermath, why not try a fêted new British novel? David Mitchell's debut Ghostwritten (Sceptre), whose ten tales start in China and Japan, has won the John Llewellyn Rhys prize.

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W H Smith has announced the new arrangements for the awards to replace the old WHS Literary Award, abandoned by management on grounds of "elitism". There are to be nine separate awards, each worth £5,000. The public will be able to vote in eight (eg biography, travel, and home). The ninth, the literary award, will still be decided by the professionals. You can cast votes in WHS stores from January, or at www.whsmith.co.uk/awards.

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Reggie's funeral was a quiet affair compared to Ronnie's, but there's now a window of opportunity for publishers. John Blake, publisher by appointment to various Kray friends, is rushing out The Twins: free at last, by Kate Kray. The title is somewhat presumptuous, implying at least a cordial welcome from St Peter.

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