So word on the street (and by street, of course, we mean Google news feeds) is that, after much speculation, Laura Bush has finally sold her memoirs to the highest bidder, Scribner. If the publishing house has indeed won what was purported to be a fairly spirited competition for the rights to the soon-to-be-former First Lady’s story, what will we get from it? Trenchant, blow-these-doors-wide-open analysis of her husband’s dramatic and heavily divisive eight years in office? Or a breezy, let’s-just-keep-those-doors-nice-and-closed tour of White House place settings, Easter-egg hunts on the Great Lawn, and evening strolls with First Pooch Barney?
One could argue that her story has already been told via Curtis Sittenfeld’s recent bestseller, American Wife (though one would also need to attribute super-duper powers of omniscence to Sittenfeld, who has never met Laura). One could also argue that the First Lady, determinedly private and almost unilaterally uninvolved in the day-to-day policy-making of her husband’s administration, neither needs nor wants to produce the kind of memoir that a former FW like, say, Hilary Clinton — who got a cool $8 million for her post-White House memoirs — did: a doorstop-weight work of score settling, you-are-there politicking, and other tales from the near-center of the Oval Office storm. On the third hand (because I have three arms, naturally), Laura is a lifelong reader, passionate about both literature and literacy, so she’s quite possibly in a better natural position to pen her own story with the sort of eloquence and insight that G.W., alas, has never been known for.
What’s your take, readers? Do you long to know more about this mysterious woman with the Mona Lisa smile and the Dorothy Hamill haircut? Or would you rather eat this book than read it?
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