Cover Stories: Jimmy Carter's novel; John Travolta's project

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The Independent Culture

As the race for the White House gets uglier, Nobel Laureate and ex- President Jimmy Carter has loftier matters on his mind: the UK publication next month of his first novel, The Hornet's Nest (Simon & Schuster).

As the race for the White House gets uglier, Nobel Laureate and ex- President Jimmy Carter has loftier matters on his mind: the UK publication next month of his first novel, The Hornet's Nest (Simon & Schuster). The book, set in the War of Independence, was well received in the US last year by a public that has, belatedly, taken Carter to heart. Carter is the first president to write a novel. Asked about Dubya and co, he told Publishing News: "This administration has abandoned the principles of US foreign policy. I taught a Bible lesson yesterday on faith, and I have faith that things will improve."

* News of yet another celebrity memoir, this time by John Travolta, who made his name with Grease and Saturday Night Fever and reinvented himself as a "serious" actor with Primary Colors and Pulp Fiction. Last week, Patrick Janson-Smith paid $1.275m for the as-yet-unwritten project, which Bantam will publish in two years' time. Travolta explained that "turning 50, if I waited any longer, I'd have to write two books".

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