The Literator

INSIDE PUBLISHING

It was always just a matter of time and this week time was called. Creditors of Pavilion Books - the company founded by Tim Rice and Michael Parkinson and which went into receivership for (almost literally) five minutes earlier this year to be bought by Collins & Brown for just pounds 875,000 - are finally beginning to ask awkward questions. While printers who got their fingers burned are coy about talking, disgruntled authors are beginning to speak out, either directly or through their agents.

Among them is actress and cookery writer Madhur Jaffrey, whose agents, the heavyweight Rogers, Coleridge & White, are considering taking action. So, too, Tim Abbott, author of a book on Oasis which was a big Christmas seller for Pavilion.

The awful truth dawned at a recent creditors' meeting that authors will not be paid for their last 18 months of book sales. All available monies, just under pounds l.5m, will go to the bank: unsecured creditors -- surprise, surprise - get nothing. So much for Managing Director Colin Webb's assertion that authors would always be "looked after".

NOVEMBER 29, 1957: "I'm going to hate being away from home." July 2, 1960: "Thanks very much for giving me a good home and a happy, hectic childhood that I never tire of remembering." Who do you think wrote those lines in two of his innumerable letters home to "Mom"? Donny Osmond? Tony Blair? William Hague? Prepare for a surprise - for it's no more than the father of gonzo journalism himself, Hunter S Thompson, whose 700-page collection of letters, The Proud Highway, covering the years 1955-1967, Bloomsbury publish next month.

It seems Thompson was a keen correspondent and recipients of his missives include Lyndon Johnson, Tom Wolfe and Joan Baez, his next-door neighbour in Big Sur. One doesn't expect the hell-raising author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Better than Sex to have spent quite so much time writing home, although the cynical might say it was all down to cupboard love, for Virginia Thompson often sent her son money.

Whatever, his letters are a fascinating footnote to an era and it's interesting to note that his first use of the phrase "fear and loathing" is in a letter to William Kennedy, publisher of the San Juan Star and a future Pulitzer Prize-winning author, on the day of JFK's assassination when he notes that "we now enter the era of the shitrain, President Johnson and the hardening of the arteries".

Thompson has accepted an invitation to come to Britain for publication, though he is worried that the long journey will aggravate his sciatica. He will stay at Claridges. So much for the counterculture...

BRUCE Grobbelaar and John Fashanu may be celebrating their victory at Winchester, where they were cleared of match-fixing. But publishers are not so happy. Fourth Estate has been forced to abandon plans to publish Anil Bhoyrul's biography, John Fashanu: For the Sake of a Penny. Last year Macmillan dropped Chris Vincent's book on Grobbelaar, titled Giving the Game Away. Both publishers seem to have forgotten that defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

IT'S INTERESTING that MPs, usually so keen to show their erudition, are currently keen to show how trendy they are. In Dillons' second annual poll of MPs' reading tastes, Irvine Welch's Trainspotting was book of the year - as indeed it was for Jane Asher, usually so pure in word and deed. As to their favourite books of all time, the Bible is closely followed by Catch 22 and War and Peace. The book most feel they ought to have read but haven't is Will Hutton's The State We're In.

AS WE HEAD inexorably toward the next century, what word best sums up this one? Tough one, isn't it? Collins Dictionaries this autumn launches a campaign to find the most apposite word in a poll called "Define the Century", to be conducted via the nation's bookshops. Anyone buying a Collins dictionary will be asked to put in a word, so to speak, and the winners will be announced in January, drawn from those who vote for the most popular word. To get you off to a good start, Collins is producing a list of 100 words, one for each year since 1897, which they believe reflect the tenor of the times. For example, bikini for 1946 and psychedelic for 1956 ... aren't they 11 years early with that one?

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Insight Analyst Vacancy - Leading Marketing Agency

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency have won a fe...

Account Manager, London

£18000 - £22000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent Uncapped Commission Structure: ...

Sales Executive, London

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting entertainment comp...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star