Thursday, October 22, 2020
Elinor Lipman's RACHEL TO THE RESCUE is the perfect anti-Trump, pro-voting book you need right now
I knew I wanted to write about someone with a short-lived job in the Trump administration, and one day I read about WHORM (White House Office of Records Management—truly its name) in Politico.com, and I said, “that’s it! That’s Rachel’s soon-to-be ex-job." I confirmed it with the actual archivist of the U.S. that it still exists, Scotch-taping the ripped-up documents all day long. A paragraph from Politico is the epigraph of the novel.
It's also incredibly smart (and hopeful!) that you bypassed the length of publishing to get this out there. What was that process like?
It was a slog, and one I wasn’t prepared for. I’d never had a book turned down, and my agent called it “delicious and relevant,” so I wasn’t worried. Ha! One by one, editors said exceedingly nice things along the lines of “has your usual warmth and wit, etc. etc.” all very complimentary, but to a person they were worried about Trump fatigue when 2021 rolled around. “No one will feel like laughing at Donald Trump” in a year when the book would come out. Jonathan the significant other said, “Won’t we be dancing on his grave forever?” Stacy Schiff, one of my first readers, said with each rejection,“I don’t get it! It’s a palliative.” Then dubbed it “The Trump Book That Could Only be Published Abroad.”
How can we all order this asap? http://eye-books.com/books/rachel-to-the-rescue
OR on the demon Amazon for those who have e-readers!
And anything else you would like to say? I am about to do another newsletter and I will put this in it, too!
Yes! At the same time I'm hearing about the U.S. rejections, Mary Trump’s book sold 980,000 copies in its first day for sale. And the NY Times’s Nicholas Kristof published an op-ed titled, “To Beat Trump, Mock Him.” Not in a novel, not in a year’s time, was the message. I did have this fond hope that England, where the diapered baby Trump blimp was invented, might not be afraid to get this out, and fast.