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The troubled star is set to give fans the biggest insight into her life away from the headlines

High season for the self-help industry

It's the month for self-improvement – and an avalanche of books is ready to guide us. But the only people to profit from this industry are the publishers, says Alice-Azania Jarvis

Oprah bets her chat show on an entire TV network

Winfrey launches a $400m cable channel dedicated to her brand

Stephen Foley: Oprah always gets her way but is her TV venture all it's cracked up to be?

US Outlook: Today is Oprah's big day. After 25 years hosting the daytime talk show that made her the most influential woman in showbusiness and the US's first black billionaire, Oprah Winfrey launches her own TV channel.

Reading Shakespeare's Sonnets, By Don Paterson

This is not a conventional work of criticism and is all the better for it. Indeed, so far does it depart from the norms of academia that at times it is unclear whether Paterson is writing about Shakespeare or Shakespeare about Don Paterson. As the introduction declares, "reading a Shakespeare sonnet is an act of authorship".

Elizabeth Edwards loses six-year fight against cancer

Wife of US Senator John Edwards faced her illness and his infidelity with courage

Oprah awaits as tour brings Bush back into public after two years

Less than two years after he left the White House as one of the least-loved presidents of modern times, George W Bush is back in the limelight – as the author of memoirs that promise to be America's publishing event of 2010.

Poison pens: The art of literary revenge

Jilly Cooper has named a goat in her latest novel after a critic who wrote a biting review. She got away lightly...

Michelle beats Hillary in 'most powerful woman' list

Michelle Obama has been named as the world's most powerful woman, ahead of the likes of Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel and Oprah Winfrey. The Queen, however, did not even make the top 10.

D J Taylor: Not such a wizard idea after all

JK Rowling should stick to the example of Anthony Powell and refuse to bow to fan pressure

Terence Blacker: Must love be all around?

When Al and Tipper Gore snogged on a public platform, divorce lawyers started licking their lips.

Nine years on, Franzen says yes to Oprah's endorsement

Oprah Winfrey chose Jonathan Franzen's new book, Freedom, for her book club yesterday, calling it a "masterpiece" nine years after she cancelled his appearance on her TV talk show when he expressed ambivalence over her endorsement of one of his previous works.

Acid-attack woman Bethany Storro 'did it herself'

A US woman who gained sympathy worldwide after she claimed a random attacker threw acid in her face has admitted carrying out the attack herself.

Oprah Winfrey audience taken on holiday

Oprah Winfrey has surprised the audience at the premiere of the 25th and final season of her talk show with an all-expenses-paid trip to Australia.

Diary: Oprah hope for Franzen

Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom, this column's favourite Great American Novel of the past six months, had a famous falling-out with Oprah Winfrey in 2001. Winfrey invited Franzen to appear in her influential Book Club with his previous novel, The Corrections, but pointedly withdrew the offer when he was quoted elsewhere, saying he feared her endorsement would deter the male half of his desired audience, and sully his book with a "corporate logo". Oprah's ire didn't stop Franzen selling 2.85 million copies of The Corrections – in fact, it probably helped. Seasoned Winfrey-watchers assumed there was still bad blood between them when September's issue of her magazine, O, failed to feature Freedom in its "10 Titles To Pick Up Now". Yet it seems she might just have been delaying her forgiveness: citing "reliable sources", literary blogger Dennis Johnson claims Oprah has selected Freedom for her new Book Club list, due to be unveiled on Friday. Not that Franzen needs the help these days; the book already tops the New York Times and Amazon bestseller lists.

Terence Blacker: The quiet dignity of Mr Franzen

The famous novelist is making his promotional video. Shortly, his face will be on the front of Time magazine, his book praised to the heavens and at No 1 in the American bestseller list. "This might be a good place to register my profound discomfort at having to make a video like this," he says, looking indeed profoundly discomfited. The internet is fine for commerce, but "to me, the point of a novel is to take you to a still place".

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Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

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The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

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