Tina Brown signs Amis for pounds 500,000

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The Independent Online
THE MAGAZINE editor Tina Brown put her contact book to good use yesterday when she signed up her old Oxford chum Martin Amis in a multi- million-dollar deal with her new media venture, Talk Miramax.

Ms Brown, who left the New Yorker to launch a new kind of magazine, has paid in excess of pounds 500,000 for the rights to publish an Amis novel, a memoir, and a collection of essays for the new Talk Miramax book imprint she controls. Then Amis will be paid to write a screenplay for Miramax Films, which owns the new venture, while writing articles exclusively for the magazine - also called Talk Miramax - when it launches in September.

Amis and Brown were at Oxford University together in the Sixties. "We are thrilled to have signed Amis," she said. "He is a dazzling writer, and an original defining voice."

Mr Amis, whose major works include Money, London Fields and The Information, was equally enthusiastic: "I have known Tina Brown for a quarter of a century, and I have limitless confidence in her." He said this new kind of deal - books, films and articles all for one company - "feels like a step into the future, into a new way of doing things".

Industry sources said that Mr Amis was encouraged to go to the untested new Miramax company because of the sweetener of being able to write a screenplay. Miramax, owned by Disney, is the company behind such critically acclaimed films as The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love.

For Talk Miramax, signing Amis gets its new book division off to a highly publicised start. Tom Stoppard, one of the writers of Shakespeare in Love is already signed up to write in the magazine about his relationship with his father.

Gossips in New York are divided about whether Brown's strategy of offering highly restrictive publishing contracts, which dangle the prospect of a film deal, will attract top-flight writers, or whether those with credits to their name will want the freedom to place their work with whichever producer they wish.

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