Cover stories: The Godfather; All Saints; Ann Widdecombe

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The Independent Culture

The Gambino family was (allegedly) immortalised in Mario Puzo's The Godfather. Now Michael Gambino, 36, is at work on a novel of his own. The Honoured Society was offered to Pocket Books and, perhaps because such an offer can't easily be refused, the company bought world rights. Gambino's is not the only inside account of Mob life, but no one as highly placed has ever put pen to paper ­ straight from the horse's mouth, as it were.

The final page proofs of One Hundred Years of Solitude, corrected by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, will go under the hammer in September in Barcelona with a reserve price of nearly £400,000. They show how he changed words and refined ideas right up to the last minute. Two US universities are already interested.

Since Arundhati Roy took the world by storm four years ago with The God of Small Things, she has used her fame to lobby the Indian government on social issues. She is now at work on a book about the role of writers in society, Power Politics, the idea for which came from the radical Boston publisher, South End Press. Flamingo is likely to publish in the UK.

The Appleton sisters, Nicole and Natalie, part of All Saints until the band's split, have signed with Penguin for their memoirs. Tom Weldon, whose diverse list includes Gerry Adams and Posh Spice, bought the book on "the frankest proposal I have ever read", and believes it to be not only about Planet Fame but also about sisterhood. Nicole and Natalie will write about each other, and the men in their lives ­ not least Robbie Williams and Liam Gallagher.

No longer a Tory leadership contender, Ann Widdecombe will spend the summer polishing her second novel, An Act of Treachery. Despite the title, it is not set in Westminster but wartime France, where a Resistance member falls for a German officer. The novel, for Weidenfeld, is said to involve sex ­ discreetly, of course.

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