Cover Stories: Jane Fonda; Harry Potter; London Book Fair

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The Independent Culture

An audacious move by Ebury Press, which has booked Jane Fonda, whose memoirs, My Life So Far they publish in June, to address the WI Annual Conference at the Royal Albert Hall on 8 June.

An audacious move by Ebury Press, which has booked Jane Fonda, whose memoirs, My Life So Far they publish in June, to address the WI Annual Conference at the Royal Albert Hall on 8 June. The PM was slow hand-clapped at the event, and the Calendar Girls weren't given an easy ride. So how will the women of Middle England respond to the actress and former workout queen? Fonda is a compelling speaker who doesn't mince words and the event - a savvy way of reaching 10,000 women at a stroke - is sure to make headlines.

* With Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince scarcely four months away, and the cover design already released, indie booksellers are up in arms about the so-called level playing-field regarding discounts imposed by Bloomsbury. It means that supermarkets, with their celebrated ability to promote loss-leaders, will be offering the book for less than they will pay to buy it. This situation has in the past led to feisty indies simply loading their Tesco trolleys and reselling cheap copies. Yet the Booksellers Association claims that to lobby on the indies' behalf would be to form a cartel, which is, of course, illegal.

* The London Book Fair opens next Sunday at Olympia. While the main focus is on Antipodean publishing, there is also a strand on Spanish-language work. How splendid, then, that Jorge Herralde, founder of the Barcelona-based house Anagrama, was last week awarded an OBE for his services to British literature in Spain. The Anagrama catalogue reads like a who's who of current stars, featuring the obras of Lodge, Ishiguro, Seth, Kureishi, Amis, McEwan, Swift, Hornby, Welsh, Coe and Barnes.

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