*Political memoirs have lost much of their cachet since George Weidenfeld published diaries by the likes of Richard Crossman and Barbara Castle in the 1970s. This week, Lord Weidenfeld - ennobled by Harold Wilson, whose books he also published - was instrumental in the acquisition by the company that bears his name of the memoirs of Clarissa Eden, widow of Sir Anthony (above), the prime minister who resigned over the Suez war 50 years ago. The agent was Faith Evans, whose bespoke client list includes Helena Kennedy and Cate Haste, otherwise known as Lady Bragg, who will edit the memoirs. Clarissa Eden enjoyed a glittering social life and her friends included the likes of Evelyn Waugh and Cyril Connolly, Frederick Ashton and Alexander Korda. Lady Eden was also once - like Antonia Fraser - an editor for Lord Weidenfeld.
*Two publishers have bought books that offer insights from those who find themselves part of the "war on terror". Alan Samson at Weidenfeld has acquired Bad Men, human-rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith's examination of the hostile world of those "enemy combatants" held at Guantanamo, some of whom he represents. And Lewis Alsamari, who played the lead al-Qa'ida hijacker in United 93 and was, somewhat ironically, refused entry to the US when he flew out for the premiere, is writing his memoirs for Bantam. Alsamari grew up in Iraq and his book is expected to be a vivid recollection of life under Saddam, and his and his family's flight.
*Timewell Press, the publisher that recently brought us those writings of George Orwell that Random House felt were economically unviable, has always had an eclectic list. Now it has signed director and bon viveur Michael Winner for The Fat Pig Diet. The agent, of course, was fellow dieter Ed Victor, and Winner will reveal how he lost two stone without giving up fat and sugar. We can hardly wait.Reuse content