Graduate Writer Saved From Penniless Fate
THE GRADUATE writer CHARLES WEBB has landed a $54,000 (GBP30,000) book deal to release its sequel HOME SCHOOL, saving him from eviction and spiralling debts. The 67-year-old author missed out on the millions the 1967 DUSTIN HOFFMAN film made, having sold the movie rights to the novel, based on himself and his partner, for just $25,000 (GBP14,700). Webb also gave much of his money to charity, and is now struggling to support himself and his mentally ill female partner FRED. But he has been saved from a penniless fate after British newspaper The Times put publishers Random House in contact with him, and they have snapped up his follow-up to the seminal work for a fee which will write off his debts. Because Webb sold the rights to the characters in The Graduate, French network Canal Plus were planning to make a movie version of Home School without his permission, but his lawyer insists there is a law in France which means authors cannot sign away the rights to future works. Webb says, "My first official act after depositing the cheque was to send off the amount owed to the French law firm. "I told them as soon as the funds were in their account I hoped they would give me a frank assessment of the chances of recovering the rights."