Curtis Sittenfeld's <em>American Wife</em> Provides Fictionalized Portrait Of Laura Bush

Curtis Sittenfeld'sProvides Fictionalized Portrait Of Laura Bush

Curtis Sittenfeld, the bestselling author of Prep and The Man of my Dreams, has penned a fictionalized account of Laura Bush's life to be released in time for the Republican National Convention.

The book, American Wife, will be published by Random House, and centers around a main character named Alice Blackwell, a librarian who unwittingly falls in love with a blue-blooded man (Charlie Blackwell) who would become President of the United States.

It is, in short, a fictional examination of the life of the First Lady that mingles real facts and incidents with the author's imaginative, fanciful, sometimes sexually charged musings. The result is a masterful highbrow-lowbrow mash-up that satisfies as ass-kicking literary fiction and juicy gossip simultaneously.

From discovering that her grandmother is a lesbian, killing her high school crush with her car at age 16 (this incident at least is based in fact--Laura Bush was involved in a fatal car accident at that age), having sex with his brother, getting an abortion, and descriptions of sex with the president, Alice's antics are sure to have tongues chattering from coast to coast.

In the below excerpt, courtesy of Radar, Alice has an abortion. For more excerpts, visit Radar here.

"Alice" gets an abortion

"'We'll go to Chicago, and we'll have it taken care of. Next week, likely. I need to make a few calls. You can do as you see fit, but I'd advise against saying anything to your parents. I just can't imagine what purpose it would serve.'

"I felt an impulse then to express incomprehension, except that I did comprehend. At night, when I listened to 'Lonesome Town,' I knew. She was right.

"'Isn't it--" I hesitated. "'Isn't it illegal?'

"'Certainly, and it happens all the time. You can't legislate human nature.'

"[...]My grandmother was not permitted in the operating room--when Dr. Wycomb appeared in the white coat. She squeezed my hand, and the warmth of her grip made me realize how cold I was. I wore a blue hospital gown, and when I lay on the operating table, the nurse had me set my feet in metal stirrups. 'The doctor wants to talk to you before we put you under,' the nurse said, and ten or twelve minutes had passed."

Read more excerpts here.

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