Cover Stories: Restrained memoirs; Dylanfest; Alan Bennett

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The Independent Culture

* Martin Scorsese's Bob Dylan biopic, No Direction Home, is only one element in an autumn Dylanfest that includes the paperback of Chronicles 1 and The Bob Dylan Scrapbook. Covering the decade from 1956 to 1966, the latter book will include handwritten lyrics, flyers and reviews, and will be supported by an exhibition at London's Proud Galleries. There's also a new CD in the Bootleg series, and a Dylan tribute concert at the Barbican. Dylan's publisher Simon & Schuster has hired London buskers to work their way through Dylan's catalogue on 24 September, publication day. The man himself arrives in November.

* Alan Bennett has broken his silence ahead of this autumn's miscellany, Untold Stories. He told Publishing News about the irony of Tony Blair's obsession with his place in history even though the PM, like his government, has only the flimsiest grasp of it. He is also highly critical of a once-quality Sunday newspaper for turning a public Q&A session into an interview in which Bennett admitted to "writer's block". "I never use the phrase. I don't think of it as writer's block. You just look out the window a bit more."