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
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
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: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Recruitment Resourcer / Recruitment Account Manager

£20 - 25k + Bonus: Guru Careers: Are you a Recruitment Consultant looking to m...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'