Taylor's Book Deal Hits A Hefty Figure On Scale

March 22, 1986|ELIZABETH MEHREN | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Elizabeth Taylor has announced she will write about "women's attitude toward weight gain and loss and the ways in which they affect women's image and self-esteem" in a book scheduled for publication next year,

As yet untitled, the book will be published in hardback by G.P. Putnam's Sons, and in 1988 as a Berkeley paperback. Details of the deal that concluded late Thursday afternoon were unavailable, but Taylor's agent, Robert Lantz of the Lantz Office in New York and Los Angeles, called his client's advance "substantial--the biggest such deal ever made for such a type of book."

"We are enormously excited that Ms. Taylor chose G.P. Putnam's Sons as her publisher," Phyllis Grann, president and publisher of G.P. Putnam's Sons said. "It is a wonderful privilege to be publishing a book by one of the world's most celebrated superstars. We are confident that it will become a publishing phenomenon."

Lantz said Taylor chose the topic because of her extensive personal experience with weight gain and loss. "Oh God, yes," Lantz said. But he stressed that Taylor had given the matter great consideration and "has come to some conclusions of great intelligence and sensitivity.

"She really has--I hate the word--profound and interesting and very entertaining ideas" on the subject, Lantz said. Rather than a how-to book about diets, Lantz said Taylor would concentrate on women and how they are influenced by their weight. "I really think it is about human beings," Lantz said.

"It's very exciting, and Elizabeth is very, very thrilled about it, and will have fun with it and will do something I think quite surprising," Lantz said. "It's not going to be a dull diet book, not at all."

Lantz said Taylor would receive "some help" from an unnamed writer or writers, but said firmly that "it will be entirely her words. There will be no word in it that Elizabeth has not said or written or that does not totally reflect her view. She wouldn't cheat on the public."

In a statement issued by her publisher, Taylor declared: "It has been many years since I wrote a book, and I am thrilled and excited about this new endeavor."

Taylor's first book, "Nibbles and Me," written when the actress was 13, was published in 1946. Her second book, an "informal memoir" called "Elizabeth Taylor," was published in 1964.

In the interim, Taylor has been the subject of a number of books, but has not taken to the pen or word processor herself, Lantz said, "because she is busy--very, very busy. She has agents who keep her terribly busy."

Lantz said Taylor "personally met with" several major publishers before selecting G.P. Putnam's Sons.

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