Not So Secret Agents
"[T]he usually sedate, dignified, slow-moving world of books is in uproar, transfixed by one of the bitterest and most gripping feuds to have affected the literary world," says The Times' Stefanie Marsh breathlessly. It all started when Pat Kavanagh, venerable literary agent with Britain’s oldest literary agency, Peters Fraser & Dunlop -- who also happens to be Julian Barnes' wife -- resigned after negotiations for an attempted £4 million buy-out by the firm’s agents failed. Soon many othes followed suit, threatening the firm's future -- given that authors usually follow their agents. Moreover, with 's new managing director Caroline Michel's flair for PR, asks Ms Marsh in a rather unexpected segue, are "we on the brink of a literary future in which Tom Stoppard presents cookery programmes and Richard Harris appears in a new series of Rome, dressed for the part in a toga?"