The inside scoop on the book world

December 10, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

FIGHTING WORDS The call went out in a ”Dear Abby” column last year: Andrew Carroll was looking for letters written by American soldiers. And he got them—more than 15,000, in fact. The letters first became the basis for a History Channel documentary; now some will be compiled in a book. Scribner editor Gillian Blake, who won Battle Lines with a mid-six-figure bid, says, ”Some are much more beautifully written than others, but they [all] have a very raw power to them.”

CARR TRIP Charmian Carr, immortalized as the gazebo-waltzing oldest of the Von Trapp children, details a few of her favorite things in Forever Liesl: A Memoir of The Sound of Music, due from Viking in February. Carr (now 56 going on 57) reveals choice tidbits about Christopher Plummer‘s after-hours bar escapades and says that the actress who played Gretl ate so many Austrian sweets that she had to be replaced with a body double. For her part, Carr remains upbeat about the writing experience. ”It was really terrific,” she says. ”Almost like going through psychotherapy.”

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