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A big night for literary titans on Wednesday. At a club on the Embankment, all the Vintage superstars - Rushdie, Amis, Winterson, McEwan et al - joined a vast BookBiz throng at a heaving party to mark 10 years of the Random House paperback imprint. Up the road, Peter Ackroyd (another Vintage author) watched the first night of the one-man show, The Mystery of Charles Dickens, he wrote for Simon Callow. The club where Vintage held their bash stands at the foot of what used to be Hungerford Stairs - the spot where the 12-year-old Dickens toiled miserably in a shoe-blacking factory. He recalled with lifelong horror that the whole place was overrun with raucously loud and predatory rats. No change there then...

A big night for literary titans on Wednesday. At a club on the Embankment, all the Vintage superstars - Rushdie, Amis, Winterson, McEwan et al - joined a vast BookBiz throng at a heaving party to mark 10 years of the Random House paperback imprint. Up the road, Peter Ackroyd (another Vintage author) watched the first night of the one-man show, The Mystery of Charles Dickens, he wrote for Simon Callow. The club where Vintage held their bash stands at the foot of what used to be Hungerford Stairs - the spot where the 12-year-old Dickens toiled miserably in a shoe-blacking factory. He recalled with lifelong horror that the whole place was overrun with raucously loud and predatory rats. No change there then...

* Maybe the organisers of The Word know something we don't. For Jeanette Winterson joins Margaret Atwood, Zadie Smith, J G Ballard, Niall Griffiths and Julian Barnes as stars of this year's London literary shindig named as "Booker Prize contenders". Other writers at the Festival, based at the Globe from 23 September, include Michael Frayn, Meera Syal, Michael Heseltine and a couple described as "Simon and Amy Jenkins". Now that is news to us. The programme can be found at www.theword.org.uk or request a brochure by email: tickets@theword.org.uk

* There is a vast array of Beatle books this autumn, many on John Lennon - who would have been 60 in October. But some fans may eschew the latest offering from Geoffrey Giuliano. Lennon in America (Robson) claims to show the other side of the working-class hero. It purports to be based on "16 years of exhaustive research", with interviews, letters and the "explosive contents" of Lennon's diaries, written and taped. At one stage, Yoko Ono revealed that such diaries - never intended for publication - had mysteriously gone missing. Should Giuliano ask himself some searching questions?

* A fond farewell from a trio of Big Beasts - Terry Wogan, Michael Heseltine and Dick Francis, all bowing out with a book and a party. Francis rode into the Ritz, as usual, while Tarzan commanded the grand Seamen's Hall at Somerset House. Wogan, however, had to make do with the naff, Radio 2-ish ambience of an eggbox hotel near Hyde Park. Did the BBC bosses attacked in his memoir Is it me? want to get their retaliation in early?

* In an era when every two-bit star rushes into print, it's a pity that someone of the calibre of Betty Box is reduced to working with the Book Guild - a vanity publisher, albeit a respectable one. Lifting the Lid is the life story of a pioneer woman film director, who worked with stars such as Hepburn, Hope and Bogarde. At Pinewood, Box turned down a Bond movie but produced other successes, including the Doctor in the House series.

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