Nom de prix?


D.M. PURCELL, anyone? Deirdre Purcell, one of the bestselling, most successful novelists in the country, is altering her image somewhat with the help of British publishing giants, Macmillan.

The prolific Purcell, whose novels include Sky and Falling For A Dancer has reputedly been offered a lucrative contract by the company to write a literary novel going for the higherbrow market, and all the attendant literary prizes that area offers.

Rather than building on the name she has already established in Britain through her previous novels, this one will, it seems, be written by D.M. Purcell.

Maybe they're hoping the Booker judges will think of D.M. Thomas, hot favourite for the 1981 prize, who was squeezed into runner up position by a relatively unknown Salman Rushdie with Midnight's Children. Perhaps Purcell will be able to tone down her profile with slightly more success than Rushdie subsequently did.