Cover Stories: Frankfurt Book Fair signings

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

So, the Frankfurt Book Fair is over for another year. And what a quiet event it was, with publishers taking fewer people (Hodder Headline halved its contingent) and cutting down on the parties.

So, the Frankfurt Book Fair is over for another year. And what a quiet event it was, with publishers taking fewer people (Hodder Headline halved its contingent) and cutting down on the parties. But heads of houses often travel first-class, despite the brevity of the flight, and stay in the splendour of the Frankfurterhof, a favourite of Hitler's, or outside the city at the Schloss, a castle where "the champagne air" (sic!) provides a breather from the fug inside the Fair. There, the Pope's reflections on the events of the last century failed to sell to either the Brits or the Americans, both already bored by several slices of papal bull. On the other hand, Anthony Summers's raking over of the ashes of Frank Sinatra did find a home - at Transworld. Summers excels at this sort of investigative biography and his latest book will confirm years of rumours, some hinted at in The Godfather.

* HarperCollins unveiled a new - and surprising - novel by Isabel Allende. Zorro: the Legend Begins, due in May, tells the life-story of the character invented in pulp novels by Johnston McCulley in 1919. Zorro long ago made the transfer to the big screen, most recently in the form of Antonio Banderas. Apparently, McCulley's estate approached Allende, who fairly leapt at the chance to write a fictionalised "biography" of the first caped crusader.

* Random House has signed Sir Jeremy Greenstock, British Ambassador to the UN before the war and our man in Baghdad following the alleged cessation of hostilities, to write "Britain's story of the Iraq war and its aftermath". It promises a memoir that will give "the first comprehensive view" of Saddam's embattled relationships with the UN, Washington and London, from the first Gulf War to his ultimate overthrow.

Comments