Cover Stories: Diana's death; Jewish Book Week; Icon Books

The Literator
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The Independent Culture

* August 31 is the tenth anniversary of perhaps the most famous car crash in history. Diana's death and its aftermath have already prompted The Queen. Now come two controversial novels. The Accident Man is a first thriller by Tom Cain, pseudonym of "a well-known investigative journalist". Transworld will publish on 2 July, and it sounds a great book for conspiracy buffs. From Faber in June comes 12.23 by Eoin McNamee - this, too, is a conspiracy novel. For pure Dianaphiles, also in June, Century has The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown, former New Yorker editor. Her insider's book will, says its editor, make us think, "yes, that's what it was like to be there".

* Jewish Book Week, London's oldest literary festival and more eclectic every year, runs at the Royal National Hotel, Bloomsbury, from 24 February to 4 March. As always, there's a superb international line-up that includes Edgardo Cozarinsky from Argentina, Yasmina Khadra from Algeria, Julia Kristeva from France, Richard Zimler from Portugal and Etgar Keret from Israel, as well as Christopher Hitchens, Martin Amis and Howard Jacobson, the latter interviewed by Peter Florence for an event in association with The Independent. Other topics include immigration (with George Alagiah), the Bible, and women's relationship to Judaism. Details and booking at: www.jewishbookweek.com.

* A coup for Icon Books - the indie publisher has signed Martin Bell, former BBC journalist and indie MP for Tatton, for The Truth that Sticks: New Labour's Breach of Trust. Bell will look at the series of scandals that began soon after the '97 election. He saw several publishers with his proposal, but was won over by Icon's "independent spirit and vigour".

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