THE LITERATOR

What next for Harper?

It is described as `the last significant step' in a year-long review of HarperCollins taken by its new management team (where have we heard that before?) as its parent company News Corp writes off $270m. The announcement, made in New York, was accompanied by a statement saying, once again, that HarperCollins is not for sale. Naturally, there is some scepticism. Some literary agents believe that such a huge write-off, which offers the new management a clean slate, is evidence of Murdoch's long-term good intentions. Others feel that the decks are being swept clean in order to make HarperCollins a better buy.

Wanted: a best seller

Dorling Kindersley, meanwhile, is making around eighty staff redundant from its multimedia division, a move which went some way to restoring City confidence in a company whose share price has halved over the past eighteen months. And at Faber, where much of the last eighteen months was spent in a search for a replacement for Robert McCrum, the editorial director who departed for the books pages of the Observer, pre-tax profits are down by a whopping 57 per cent. The publisher, which reinvented itself for the 1980s, looks once again to be in need of a makeover. New Managing Director Toby Faber, who has taken over from Matthew Evans ascribes the downturn to the lack of a bestseller.

A question of conviction

Court TV made US attorney Barry Scheck into a celebrity, first as a member of OJ's `dream team' and, more recently, in the Louise Woodward trial. Now, inevitably, he is to write a book. Actual Innocence has already been bought by Doubleday US for $500,000 and Scheck has recently been in London, auditioning UK contenders. Working with Peter Nuefeld, his partner at New York's Cardozo Law School, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jim Dwyer, who will actually write the book, Scheck will use DNA analysis methods to demonstrate how a number of past convictions would not stick if subjected to modern scientific scrutiny. OJ will probably make it in to the book but Woodward will be left on the cutting room floor.

Flower power's hour

Still looking for something on which to spend those Christmas tokens? How about the autobiography of Ravi Shankar, the sitar player whose `discovery', by George Harrison during the first flush of flower power brought him to a much larger audience than he might otherwise have enjoyed. Raga Mala is, in fact, edited by Harrison, who's also provided a foreword and dozens of photographs. Violinist Yehudi Menuhin has contributed an introduction.

The book comes to us courtesy of Genesis Publications of Guildford, Surrey, a company in which Harrison has an interest. Indeed, Genesis published his own autobiography, I. Me, Mine, as well as that by Derek Taylor, the famed Beatles publicist who sadly died last year. Raga Mala is a snip at pounds 195. Each of the 2,000 copies - bound in Bangalore raw silk in a choice of four striking colours - is numbered and signed by Shankar himself. The whole is presented in a custom-made box which also includes two CDs and `a packet of finest quality Special Durbar Agarbathi incense sticks. Who said the sixties are over?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Sphere Digital Recruitment: Display Account Manager

£25,000 to £35,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: The Company Our client are th...

Sphere Digital Recruitment: Sales Director

£80 – 120K : Sphere Digital Recruitment: Sales Director – Ad tech - £80 – 120K...

Sphere Digital Recruitment: Senior Analyst – Global Sports Gaming Brand

40,000- 50,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: Senior Analyst – Global Sports Gam...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum