Good Gaul: Asterix illustration sells for record €1.4m in Paris

The drawing for Asterix and the Banquet, signed by its creators, was only expected to sell for between €180,000 and €200,000

An original illustration for the cover of one of the early Asterix comic books has sold for a record €1.4m (£1.25m) at auction , more than seven times its expected price, an auction house announced.

The drawing for Asterix and the Banquet (Le Tour de Gaul in French), signed by the creators of the legendary series, Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny, was sold by the Drouot auction house in Paris on Friday.

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Frankfurt book fair: Atwood and Brown to star at politically charged event

World’s largest publishing trade event focuses on star writers as authors including Margaret Atwood, Dan Brown and Nicholas Sparks to appear

Margaret Atwood, Dan Brown and Nicholas Sparks are among the big name authors descending on Frankfurt this week as the world’s oldest book fair glams up for the Instagram generation.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, is set to formally open the fair with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, on Tuesday, accompanied by a who’s who of the French literary scene, as part of the country’s turn as the trade fair’s annual guest of honour.

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Marcel Proust paid for reviews praising his work to go into newspapers

Novelist paid for flattering reviews of Swann’s Way to go on front pages of French newspapers, as revealed in letters to be auctioned by Sotheby’s

The French writer Marcel Proust paid for glowing reviews of the first volume of his Remembrance of Things Past to be put into newspapers, letters by the author reveal.

The novelist wrote the notices himself and sent them to be typed up by his publisher “so there is no trace of my handwriting” to distance himself “absolutely from the money that will change hands”.

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Leading author joins boycott of Swedish book fair due to extremist newspaper’s presence

Ngugi wa Thiong’o cancels attendance because of Nya Tider, but organisers says ‘dialogue is best way to beat racism and xenophobia’
Kenyan literary icon Ngugi wa Thiong’o, often tipped for the Nobel literature prize, has pulled out of an annual Swedish book fair in protest at the presence of a right-wing extremist newspaper, his publisher said Wednesday. The 75-year-old author of A Grain of Wheat (1967) and Petals of Blood (1975), wrote an email to his Swedish publisher Modernista informing them he would cancel his attendance at the Gothenburg Book Fair “in solidarity with the writers withdrawing and of course with the concerns behind their withdrawal,” referring to the newspaper Nya Tider, which will be represented at the fair. Continue reading...

Arundhati Roy’s first novel for 20 years goes on sale

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has been met with mixed reviews but is expected to be a bestseller Arundhati Roy’s eagerly-awaited second novel goes on sale worldwide on Tuesday, two decades after her prize-winning debut The God of Small Things propelled her to global fame and launched her career as an outspoken critic of injustice in her native India.
Roy became the first Indian woman to win the prestigious Booker Prize with her 1997 work, which sold around 8m copies and turned the young author into a star of the literary world. Continue reading...

Arundhati Roy’s first novel for 20 years goes on sale

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has been met with mixed reviews but is expected to be a bestseller Arundhati Roy’s eagerly-awaited second novel goes on sale worldwide on Tuesday, two decades after her prize-winning debut The God of Small Things propelled her to global fame and launched her career as an outspoken critic of injustice in her native India.
Roy became the first Indian woman to win the prestigious Booker Prize with her 1997 work, which sold around 8m copies and turned the young author into a star of the literary world. Continue reading...

Gun that almost killed Arthur Rimbaud sells for €435,000 at Paris auction

Seven-millimetre revolver poet Paul Verlaine used in failed attempt to kill his lover fetches more than seven times its estimate The most famous gun in French literary history, used by Paul Verlaine when he tried to kill his lover and fellow poet Arthur Rimbaud, has sold for €434,500 (£368,000) at auction in Paris. The price for the 7mm six-shooter which almost changed the course of world literature was more than seven times the estimate, auctioneers Christie’s said on Wednesday. Continue reading...