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SUNDAY BRUNCH

Culture Watch

September 14, 1997

Exposes about recent American history, dark millennial fiction and, per usual, reams of paper pulp about celebs are on tap from the big publishers this fall. There look to be some eventful books. Here are ones we aim to get our hands on as soon as possible.

Historically speaking:

* "Speaking Truth to Power" by Anita Hill. Her long-awaited book is due in October, from Doubleday. Expect secrets about canned drinks and powerful men.

* "The Dark Side of Camelot" by Seymour Hersh. Ace reporter Hersh has been studying the Kennedys for five years, and the Little, Brown book promises bombshell revelations. What could be left to disclose?

* "Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes" by Michael Beschloss. This is going to be a very provocative title from Times Books, with a boost from "60 Minutes" and other bookselling venues. Beschloss is one of our best presidential historians and he's entering virgin, juicy terrain. Ah, the '60s.

Literarily:

* "Underworld" by Don DeLillo. A major and long novel from one of America's finest, gloomiest pens, it deals with a panorama of America from the 1950s to the present. From Scribners.

* "Truman Capote, a Memoir" by George Plimpton (Doubleday). New York's favorite literary gadfly remembers one of America's grandest, crankiest novelists. This book has been years in the making, and Plimpton is promising some remarkable new material.

* "Timequake" by Kurt Vonnegut. After a long silence, his 18th book, and it sounds interesting: The universe is about to implode or explode in 2001, but then it decides to back things up and make everybody on Earth relive their lives since 1991. From Putnam.

* "Toward the End of Time" by John Updike (Knopf). America's smoothest and one of its most prolific observers weighs in with an uncharacteristic millennium fantasy akin to the Vonnegut novel. Rabbit Reductio ad absurdum?

Juicily:

* "The Royals," by Kitty Kelley. America's ace celebrity assassin takes a crack at the beleaguered House of Windsor.With the recent crescendo of sad news, Warner Books is prepping for a true blockbuster. The book should be in stores Sept. 23.

* "The Other Woman: My Years with O.J. Simpson" by Paula Barbieri, from Little, Brown. Strictly for the terminally obsessed.

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