Cover Stories: L'Oréal; Saqi Books; Jamie Oliver

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The Independent Culture

*The death at 94 of the Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, whose great Cairo Trilogy is published by Everyman's Library and in single volumes by Black Swan, will draw attention again to the scarcity of Arabic voices on our shelves. But Saqi Books - for long the best British route into Arabic writing - has now rescued from Beirut its new volumes of stories by Lebanese and Palestinian women, Hikayat and Qissat, and will publish them later this month. On 28 September, Saqi is also releasing an anthology as a tribute to "the suffering and resilience of the Lebanese people", with fiction, poetry and essays by Harold Pinter, Orhan Pamuk, Jung Chang, Arnold Wesker and John le Carré. All profits from Lebanon, Lebanon will go to Save the Children.

*Carmen Callil's Bad Blood painted a vivid picture of the German occupation of France and named some companies who profited - among them, cosmetics giant L'Oréal. Now Arcadia is poised to publish L'Oréal Took My Home, Monica Waitzfelder's account of a life-long battle for justice. Waitzfelder's family fled Germany in 1937, settling in Paris after having been forced to sell their home to a Nazi official. The proceeds, only 12 per cent of the value, were never paid to the family and, in 1954, it was resold to a German subsidiary of L'Oréal - whose founder was an alleged Nazi sympathiser. Waitzfelder, whose grandparents died in the camps, wants compensation, and her account has won Callil's praise. As Forbes noted, Liliane Bettencourt, the L'Oréal matriarch, "is in desperate need of some concealer".

*In a clear case of coals to Newcastle, Penguin has sold the Italian rights to Jamie's Italy. So Mr Oliver the Essex boy will now be published in 27 countries.

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