Cover Stories: The Bushes and Saudi royals; Hispanic writing festival; Penguin problems

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The Independent Culture

Let us now praise small publishers. Earlier this year, Random House pulled out of plans to publish House of Bush, House of Saud, Craig Unger's study of the cosy links between the Bushes and Saudi royals. In the US, the exposé came from Scribner without much ado, but libel laws differ here. This week, however, the eclectic Gibson Square Books - set up by Martin Rynja, a refugee from Duckworth - announced that it would publish the book. Its edition will appear just as Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 - in which Unger appears - hits UK cinema screens this month.

* This weekend, the South Bank Centre in London hosts a literary fiesta to celebrate Hispanic writing: "Escrito en Español", organised with the Instituto Cervantes. Authors include the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize winner Javier Cercas and award-winning firebrand Angela Vallvey. Events kick off at noon each day in the Voice Box; box office 08703 800 400.

* Pick up a Penguin? It's getting tricky, since the big bird left its Harmondsworth distribution centre and went to a spanking new warehouse in Rugby. Only problem is, the computer systems don't work properly, so the group is having a hard time fulfilling orders. Booksellers are going out of stock and are unable to replenish, with backlist titles a particular problem.