Cover Stories: Jewish Book Week; Waterstone's and Curtis Brown departures

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Jewish Book Week, held at Bloomsbury's Royal National Hotel, has made its mark as a bold and broad feast of literary treats. This year's events, from 25 February to 5 March, will include major interviews with David Grossman (below) and the Nobel Prize-winning Imre Kertész, and discussions featuring Mike Leigh, Sara Paretsky, Linda Grant, Ziauddin Sardar and Eric Hobsbawm. On Sunday 5 March, at an event in association with The Independent, Helena Kennedy, Michael Bywater, Piers Paul Read, Giles Coren, Anne Karpf and Simon Baron-Cohen will chew over the Ten Commandments - and maybe propose new ones. Our suggestion? Thou shalt snap up tickets now: www.jewishbookweek.com, or 0870 060 1798.

* Scott Pack, abrasive buying manager at Waterstone's, is to leave the chain. The company's MD, Gerry Johnson, says the decision was Pack's own. It is said that, when HMV head honchos summoned publishers to discuss the merger with Ottakar's, they were told that Waterstone's front-line head-office staff were an impediment to business. A few publishers defend Pack, praising his ability to get behind favoured books. Most feel he just had too much power. The latest exit leaves Waterstone's light on management, with all the top jobs unfilled.

* Elsewhere, Ali Gunn, always an agent to shoot from the hip, has quit Curtis Brown, the third departure in six months. She has set up as Gunn Media Enterprises, while the much-respected Elizabeth Sheinkman is to join Curtis Brown as a director. She will focus on literary fiction and non-fiction, rather neglected at the agency since the death of Giles Gordon.

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