Thursday, March 20, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton's next book, scheduled for release later this year, remains a work in progress.
Beyond saying that she is still revising the manuscript, the former secretary of state offered few specifics during a keynote speech Wednesday at the annual gathering of the Association of American Publishers, a book industry trade group.
Clinton said even less about a possible run for president in 2016, beyond joking that stepping down as secretary of state last year did not end media speculation about her future.
"It has not exactly worked out that way," she said.
Greeted with warm applause at a small auditorium in midtown Manhattan, Clinton spoke for about 25 minutes before a crowd that appreciates her on many levels. The publishing industry has a long history of support for Democrats and has revered both Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton also is a best-selling author, with "Living History" selling more than 1 million copies, and an advocate for reading — on paper. On Wednesday, she urged support for the children's literary organization First Book, recalling how she used to read "Goodnight Moon" and other favorites to daughter Chelsea.
Neither the title nor the release date has been set for her book, although it is expected this year. A spokesman for publisher Simon & Schuster said Wednesday the June 1 date that appears on Amazon.com and other online retailers is just a placeholder, needed to make sure the book is listed.
As announced last year, the book will focus on Clinton's time in the Obama administration and her thoughts on the country's future, apparently bypassing her contentious 2008 presidential primary run against Obama. She said Wednesday that the book will address the "rapidly changing and increasingly interdependent world" and 21st century challenges from "Crimea to climate change."
"Just another light, summer read," joked Clinton, whose other books include "It Takes a Village" and "An Invitation to the White House."
Clinton, 66, said the publishing industry had changed greatly since "Living History," but that her challenge remained to complete a "compelling and personal narrative." And she emphasized that she was indeed writing the book, and not having drafts handed to her as some have believed. She said she writes in longhand and has "barrels" of papers to prove her authorship.
"If you did see my study at home, you would think it was an episode from 'The Hoarders,'" she said. "The notes, the pages, the drafts — it is amazing."
But she is not working alone. She mentioned her editor at Simon & Schuster, Jonathan Karp, and a team of friends and advisers that includes her husband and daughter. She described a collaborative and "fascinating" process in which over a single paragraph "you could have people violently opposed to it and passionately in favor."
Clinton listed four lessons she has learned about publishing, including "quit your day job" and watch out for foreign translations. Clinton noted that the Chinese had deleted passages from "Living History" that were critical of the government and spoke of a comical revision to Bill Clinton's 2004 memoir, "My Life." A passage about his birth in Arkansas that appears in the English edition's opening section, "under a clear sky after a violent summer storm in a town called Hope," was changed to "The town of Hope, where I was born, has very good Feng Shui."