Between the Lines

By EW Staff
Updated May 11, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Golden Opportunity Mineko Iwasaki, on whom Arthur Golden allegedly based his best-selling novel Memoirs of a Geisha, has sued the author and his publisher in federal court in Manhattan, claiming she is owed royalties for her life story. Iwasaki says Golden violated a confidentiality pact by revealing her identity and damaged her reputation by stating that she was sold into the geisha world by her parents and that her virginity was auctioned to the highest bidder. ”All the buzz about ‘How could a man get so inside a woman’s head?”’ says Iwasaki’s lawyer Dorothy M. Weber, ”well, the answer is, it’s her story.” Random House’s Stuart Applebaum responds, ”The allegations are totally baseless….Mineko is neither the inspiration nor the only source for [the protagonist].”

Pick Pocket Comic Rita Rudner has just sold her first novel, Tickled Pink, about a young comedian who sounds a lot like, well, Rita Rudner. ”I love a challenge that’s going to drive me crazy, and this one succeeded — it took me years [to finish],” says Rudner. ”It’s ‘Bridget Jones hits the comedy circuit,”’ says Mitchell Ivers, the Pocket Books editor who acquired the title.

Pocket also bought a first novel from Michael Gambino, former mobster and grandson of mafioso Carlo Gambino. But nobody’s saying it’s about his life. ”The book is about a fellow called Michael D’Angelo, who was born into the world of organized crime, was a ‘made man’ at 18, whose fall came about as a result of betrayal and greed, and who refused to rat on any of his friends and colleagues,” says editor George Lucas. ”So draw your own conclusions.”

Wing It He has traveled the world and burrowed into our souls, and he’s done it all from inside a yellow suit. Now Carroll Spinney — Big Bird himself — is ready to reveal The Man Inside the Bird, as the Sesame Street vet is calling his autobiography. ”He wants to write about life inside and outside the suit, and they’re remarkably similar,” says Carlisle & Co. agent Christy Fletcher.