Cover Stories: Cate Haste and Cherie Booth; Walter Sisulu; Neil Armstrong

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The Independent Culture

* Random House has bought the much-discussed collaboration between Cate Haste and Cherie Booth. It appears that the book was signed up around six months ago and is still in the "early stages" of writing. It will be a "social history of the changing role of the prime minister's spouse and how it developed over half a century, from Anthony and Clarissa Eden to John and Norma Major". Note that it does not include the story of Tony and Cherie.

* The life of Walter Sisulu, who died last month aged 90, is to be commemorated in a biography by his daughter-in-law Elinor. She has written a dual life of Sisulu and his wife, who played a crucial role in keeping the ANC alive while her husband was in prison. Walter and Albertina Sisulu will draw on private papers to paint a portrait of the couple, their challenges, and the changes they helped bring about. Nelson Mandela, Sisulu's cell-mate, has written a foreword. Publication from Abacus is scheduled for November.

* At last, 34 years after his moonwalk, the reticent astronaut Neil Armstrong has agreed to an authorised biography. James R Hansen, a historian and the author of several books on space, has exclusive access to his papers and the book is "expected to offer much new material". Enough to satisfy the "it-never-happened" doubters? We'll see, when Simon & Schuster publish next year.