The Impacts of Publishing a Donald Trump Memoir | Book Pulse

Publishers, authors, and agents ponder the impact a Donald Trump book deal might have. Quentin Tarantino is writing the novelization of his own film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which will initially be published as a mass market paperback. Rebecca Carroll is adapting her upcoming memoir, Surviving the White Gaze, as a series. Read an excerpt from Later by Stephen King. Plus, starting in 2022 Yale University Press is publishing a series of brief biographies called Black Lives.

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Pondering a Trump Memoir

Presidential memoirs are a hot topic this week, and not just Barack Obama's.

First, a report in the New York Post suggested a Donald Trump memoir could net a $100 million book deal, and referenced a recent AP piece about how many books on the 45th president we should expect in the coming years.

The potential high-price deal has led to speculation on whether publishers and booksellers would support a Trump memoir. Publishers Weekly spoke with industry insiders, some of whom noted Trump could self-publish a book, as well as independent bookstore owners, who largely reported their customers might not buy copies.

Finally, the NYT speaks with publishers, authors, and agents about what impact a Trump book deal might have, with one literary agent noting it is "the thorniest nonfiction publishing challenge that I've ever seen.” 


The Washington Post reviews Here Is The Beehive by Sarah Crossan (Little, Brown: Hachette): "Before you think 'A novel in poetry? Hard pass!' give Crossan’s free verse a try. It flows as easily as honey, eliminating much of traditional narrative’s necessary blather. And it accomplishes a stream-of-consciousness feel that conveys both how quickly grief can shatter a person and how those shattered pieces still connect." Also, Kraft by Jonas Lüscher (FSG: Macmillan): "As a devoted fan of academic comedies, I insisted on reading several passages of 'Kraft' to my wife, who asked me to please stop. Which is to say that this peculiar book is not for everyone."

The NYT reviews V2: A Novel of World War II by Robert Harris (Knopf: Random House): "...another swiftly paced thriller that blends fiction with the facts of World War II… with algebra." Also, Nights When Nothing Happened by Simon Han (Riverhead: Penguin): "Simon Han’s voice embodies the monotony of feeling out of place, of realizing that life continues to roll forward, even if all you experience is inertia." The Sun Collective by Charles Baxter (Pantheon: Random House): "...[the] tense, wry and ultimately touching new novel, 'The Sun Collective,' which vividly recreates the oscillating sense of dread familiar to anyone who hasn’t spent the last four years in a coma, or in Canada." Finally, Patton Oswalt reviews Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused by Melissa Maerz (Harper): "It’s gossipy and funny and sometimes wistful and sad, but it’s page-turning."

NPR reviews Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History by Paul Farmer (FSG: Macmillan): "Only Paul Farmer, I think, in his ability to write so knowledgeably and with such love and hope for all of humanity, could coax me to read 526 pages of text about a viral outbreak during a viral pandemic." Also, The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War by Delphine Minoui (FSG: Macmillan): "a charged addition to the library of literary survival tales involving, not only the preservation of books, but the rescuing of the ideas they contain." This Is Not My Memoir by André Gregory and Todd London (FSG: Macmillan): "...while not perfect, [the book] is well worth the effort."

Time reviews A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Crown: Random House): "A Promised Land, much like Obama’s presidency and truly his entire career, makes the case for moving the story forward."

Briefly Noted

BuzzFeed recommends 7 books out this week.

Booklist Reader lists the best of the week.

USA Today offers "10 Can't Miss November Book Releases."

"New & Noteworthy Audiobooks" from the NYT

The Washington Post has "11 books to get you through Thanksgiving 2020."

A list of this year's sci-fi and fantasy awards winners via Amazon.

Marie Claire rounds up the most anticipated books of 2021.

The NYT speculates odds on who'll take the Booker Prize tomorrow.

Vox provides "A guide to the must-read 2020 National Book Award finalists."

Quentin Tarantino is writing the novelization of his own film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which will initially be published as a mass market paperback by Harper Perennial next summer, with a souped-up hardcover to follow. He's also working on Cinema Speculation, a nonfiction book about '70s film. Entertainment Weekly has details.

Kima Jones, founder of Jack Jones Literary Arts, is writing the memoir Butch (Knopf), which is due out fall 2023. The L.A. Times has details in an interview.

Dr. Nicole LePera, a.k.a. @The.Holistic.Psychologist, announced her book How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self (Harper Wave) is due out March 2021.

Publishers Weekly reports on Black Lives, "a series of brief biographies of Black individuals who profoundly shaped history" coming from Yale University Press in 2022.

Entertainment Weekly has an excerpt from Later by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime: Random House). It's due out March 2021. excerpts We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen (Mira: HarperCollins), publishing Jan. 26, 2021.

William Boyd discusses Trio (Knopf: Random House), due out Jan. 19, with The Millions.

The L.A. Times discusses crazy ex-boyfriends with Rachel Bloom, I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are (Grand Central: Hachette). USA Today also speaks with the author and actor.

People speaks with Elizabeth Holmes about HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style (Celadon: Macmillan; LJ starred review).

Paulo Coelho discusses The Archer (Knopf: Random House) with Amazon.

The Rumpus interviews Destiny O. Birdsong, Negotiations (Tin House: W.W. Norton).

The New Yorker features Wikipedia @ 20: Stories of an Incomplete Revolution edited by Joseph Reagle (MIT) and Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider's Guide to Jeopardy! by Claire McNear (Twelve: Hachette).

O: The Oprah Magazine interviews Paola Ramos, Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity (Vintage: Random House), and provides an excerpt. 

Simon Han, Nights When Nothing Happened (Riverhead: Penguin), talks about sleep and more with BOMB.

PopSugar interviews Cole Brown, Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World (Arcade: S. & S.).

Kelli Jo Ford, Crooked Hallelujah (Grove Press), discusses generational relationships with Electric Lit.

In his NYT column “The Americans,” A.O. Scott looks at the fiction of Joy Williams.

Book Riot lists 18 literacy charities that could use support.

Harry Potter, TikTok, and quarantine: The NYT is on it.

Authors on Air

Rebecca Carroll is adapting her upcoming memoir, Surviving the White Gaze (S. & S.), as a series for MGM/UA Television. 185 Carat Films has optioned Koh-i-Noor: The History Of The World’s Most Infamous Diamond by William Dalrymple and Anita Anand, and will adapt it as a drama series. SK Global and The Mazur Kaplan Company have a first-look deal to adapt five books: The Hierarchies by Ros Anderson, The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America’s 16th President–and Why It Failed by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch, The Year of Dangerous Days: Riots, Refugees, and Cocaine in Miami 1980, by Nicholas Griffin, The Current by Tim Johnston, and The Reformatory by Tananarive Due. Deadline reports.

Starz has acquired rights to the nonfiction book Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life and the novel Captive Queen, both by Alison Weir, to develop into series. The Hollywood Reporter has details.

Matthew MacWilliams, On Fascism: 12 Lessons From American History (St. Martin's Griffin: Macmillan), is on the the Keen On podcast.

The Literary Life podcast features Carlos Lozada, What Were We Thinking: A Brief Intellectual History of the Trump Era (S. & S.). 

Dolly Parton, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics (Chronicle), talked with the Today Show about how she helped fund Covid-19 vaccination research.

Megan Rapinoe, One Life (Penguin) is on with Drew Barrymore today.

Michael J. Fox, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality (Flatiron: Macmillan), appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tonight.

Matthew McConaughey, Greenlights (Crown: Random House), is on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight.

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