Cover Stories: Vicar's Hollywood deal; Bush's All the President's Men?; Women on tour

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The Independent Culture

The Vicar of St Mary's, Cloughton, North Yorkshire, is going to have to rethink the question of poverty. For GP Taylor, who wrote Shadowmancer, has signed a $1m deal with Hollywood-based Fortitude Films. A tale of superstition, magic and witchcraft in 18th-century England that appeals to people of all religions and none, his children's novel was self-published before Faber picked it up. It has shifted 300,000 copies in the UK, and the book has been sold to 20 countries; a new novel, Wormwood, is due in June.

A deal this week with Sony Pictures raises the possibility that, decades from now, the defining moments of the Bush presidency will be burned into our memory by Hollywood as strongly as All the President's Men did with end of the Nixon era. John Calley, a key figure in Warner Bros' purchase of Woodward and Bernstein's book All the President's Men, this week optioned screen rights to Against all Enemies by Richard Clarke, the former US anti-terror tsar whose testimony is causing Bush and co sleepless nights. The book is proving an unlikely UK bestseller - which bodes well for next week's publication by Simon & Schuster of Plan of Attack, Bob Woodward's account of the White House in the run-up to the Iraq war.

Next week, a quartet of leading women poets begins a national tour of readings. The star-studded bill includes Carol Ann Duffy, Liz Lochhead, Elaine Feinstein, and the great Romanian poet Nina Cassian. They kick off at the QEH Theatre in Bristol on Tuesday 20 April, then move to London's Purcell Room on Wednesday 21, New College, Oxford on Friday 23, and Manchester's Library Theatre on Sunday 25. More info on the "Great Women Poets" tour from sianwilliams2000@hotmail.com

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