Laura Bush’s Memoir? Didn’t We Already Read That?


Scribner paid only $1.6 million for Laura Bush’s memoir, the Post reports today, which is a slap in the face, even during a time when book-publishing companies can barely afford lunch. First Lady memoirs usually fetch big bucks — Hillary Clinton’s Living History got an $8 million advance, and she didn’t have a war, a financial crisis, or a house full of entertaining drunks. It seems like, probably, Laura just didn’t bring the goods: One publisher who met with her said she wouldn’t talk about anything of substance and called it “the worst, or the most frustrating, meeting … I’ve ever had.” But it’s probably because after Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife, everyone feels like they already know the Laura Bush story — and they don’t want her messing it up by offering her own version of what really happened. “Do you remember after Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston separated, it was more interesting to wonder what Aniston thought than to find out what she thinks?” Sittenfeld told The New Yorker. “Sometimes when people share their thoughts it’s sort of disappointing.” That said: If LB wants to pose naked on the cover of GQ, we’ll buy it.

First Memoirs [NYer]