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Between the Lines

The inside scoop on the book world

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HUSH ORDER Jon Krakauer is up to something, but we’re going to have to wait a year or two to find out what it is. The author of Into the Wild and Into Thin Air has made a deal with Doubleday for his next book, a spokesperson for the house confirms, but both the publisher and Krakauer’s agent, John Ware, remain mum about everything else. ”We’re just not talking about this book,” says Ware. ”Not the topic, the money, nothing. This is Jon’s preference for a variety of reasons and was one of the conditions of the deal itself.”

QUESTIONING THE LAW The muckraking journalist who explored the underbelly of Big Macs and french fries in Fast Food Nation has chosen a new topic — three new topics, actually — for his next expose. Eric Schlosser has just re-signed with Houghton Mifflin to look at ”the three pillars of the underground economy — porn, pot, and illegal immigrants,” says his editor, Eamon Dolan, who adds that the book will look at the misguided crackdowns politicians have aimed at all three entities. The as-yet-untitled book will publish next April.

PASS THE BUTTER, PLEASE Science writer Gary Taubes, who had readers reaching for steak following his recent New York Times Magazine cover story on how fats might be better for you than carbs, has just reached a deal for around $700,000 with Knopf to expand his argument. ”He’s asking two major questions,” says acquiring editor Jonathan Segal. ”Why is it when we look at studies involving nutrition, there is so much bad science? And with…all the studies, how come, per capita, we have more obesity than ever before?”

FRENCH TWISTED? The French government has just made novelist Danielle Steel an Officer in its Order of Arts and Letters. She’s keeping good company: Past honorees have included Meryl Streep, architect Richard Meier, and Susan Sontag.

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