The tussle to publish Mark Latham’s scurrilous diaries has turned into
a publishing industry horse race. Crikey understands that one of the
favourites, Random House, has scratched itself – despite rumours they
offered $200,000 for the Latham diatribe – and the new favourite is
Melbourne University Press.

MUP publisher Louise Adler told Crikey this morning: “I can’t
comment”. When we said that wasn’t a denial she laughed and said: “I
can’t comment”.

The rumour is that MUP has paid $150,000 for the book that
apparently wasn’t even offered to many major publishers, including
HarperCollins, Allen & Unwin, ABC Books, Pan Macmillan, HardieGrant
and Hodders.

The
other big Latham post-election book about to hit the streets is written
by Bernard Lagan and published by Allen & Unwin. It’s called
“LONER: Inside a Labor Tragedy”. Ouch.

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Peter Fray
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