Cover Stories: Peter Kay; Richard & Judy; Migrations of the Mind; Imre Kertesz

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

* It's gratifying to know that The History Boys has wowed Broadway, but there's surely no danger that Alan Bennett will leave London for the US. But perhaps that was what Century was thinking when it announced their signing of the memoirs of Bolton comic Peter Kay, describing him as the new Bennett. Time - and the public - will tell if he is, as his editor Hannah Black says, "a gifted writer with a keen sense of the absurdities of family life".

* Amanda Ross, MD of Cactus TV and producer of Richard & Judy, has had her wrist slapped for selling books at discounts of up to 50 per cent on the show's website. Those logging on can buy all the books featured, in an operation run by a subsidiary of The Book People - the business which comes under fire for selling the latest titles at less than the cost of a paperback. Concerns over R&J discounting have been raised by the Booksellers Association and are likely to be broached at next week's conference in Bournemouth, an event at which, only two years ago, La Ross was fêted with a special award. The producer reminds booksellers that she has been "pushing people into bookshops for the past four years".

* On Saturday 13 May, at the ICA, English PEN holds its International Writers' Day. The theme is "Migrations of the Mind"; speakers include Jung Chang, Monica Ali and two writers shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize: Dubravka Ugresic and Tahar Ben Jelloun. Tickets cost £25, from 020-7930 3647.

* Imre Kertesz, Hungary's Nobel laureate and another close contender for the Independent prize, this week won the Jewish Quarterly/Wingate award for his novel of surviving Auschwitz, Fatelessness. The film version opens this weekend. Oona King, the chair of the judges, praised an "utterly absorbing and transformative" book.

Comments