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Tuesday, 5 December, 2000, 16:37 GMT
Novel roles up for sale
Nick Hornby
For sale: A part in a new Nick Hornby novel
A select band of book fans could find themselves on the pages of their favourite author's next book, thanks to a charity auction taking place on Tuesday.

Louis de Bernieres, Hanif Kureishi, Rose Tremain and Nick Hornby are just a few of the names taking part in the auction.

If the price is right the bidder can buy the right to become a character in a forthcoming novel by these or other writers.

Jim Crace
Quarantine novelist Jim Crace

Jim Crace, who won the Whitbread prize with his book Quarantine, is taking part in the project.

He said: "Hopefully, people who feel passionately about literature will see this as a great opportunity to grab 15 paragraphs of fame."

But he added: "Of course, if they bid a great deal of money they are going to want a bigger showing than that."

Money raised from the auction, at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London, will go to the charity The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture.

Prospective bidders should watch out, however.

Last October Scotish crime writer Ian Rankin offered the chance to appear in his latest novel in an auction in aid of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

But Rankin would not reveal who exactly the character would be, nor whether it would be a baddie, and nor will the writers in this auction.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Iain Simpson at the auction
"The undoubted star of the night was the Australian-born satirical novelist, Kathy Lette"
See also:

15 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Booker near-misses aim for Whitbread
07 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Atwood wins Booker Prize
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