Cover Stories: David Beckham photos; Clare Short in demand; Elvis Costello's new wave; Baghdad guide book

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The Independent Culture

Dewi Lewis, the Stockport-based indie, looks set to score this spring with a collection of photos chronicling David Beckham's years in Manchester.

Dewi Lewis, the Stockport-based indie, looks set to score this spring with a collection of photos chronicling David Beckham's years in Manchester. David Beckham: made in Manchester, by local paparazzi Eamonn and James Clarke, may well give DL its first international bestseller. The Clarkes took a now-celebrated photo of Beckham after he was hit by Fergie's flying boot. Their book concentrates on his early days, when Ryan Giggs was United's star and Becks was cropped from photos showing more famous fellow-players.

* Clare Short has signed with Simon & Schuster for a book that seems certain to fan the flames ignited by the Iraq War. The MP is planning a current-affairs work likely to appear late this year. Agent Deborah Rogers handled the "beauty parade", which left a half-dozen publishers disappointed. S&S has also imported copies of Against All Enemies: inside America's war on terror, the memoir by Richard Clarke that has been dominating the airwaves for its harsh insider's critique of Bush and co. In New York City on Monday, 10,000 copies were sold.

* David Rosenthal, the US publisher of Simon & Schuster, has signed up two books by Elvis Costello. The most enduring talent of the late-1970s New Wave will first write "intimate narrative chapters taking their cue from the styles, themes and characters" of his own lyrics, as well as a book of "comic philosophy". The first will be published here next autumn, also by S&S.

* Bradt Publications has just pressed the print button on Baghdad: the Bradt mini guide, due in June. The author is Catherine Arnold, who spent part of her childhood in the Middle East and worked on the English Baghdad Bulletin after Saddam's fall. She assures us that there's still much to see - although two featured restaurants have been destroyed since she finished writing.

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