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Palin announces new book - but will it be banned?

By Jimmy Orr / May 13, 2009

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced yesterday a book deal has been completed with HarperCollins publishing. Her memoirs will not only focus on her professional life including the 2008 campaign but provide a glimpse of her personal life as well.

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If this were a snarky blog, we would begin this post by writing: "It's turning out to be an all-star year in the land of high culture.

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"The Rod Blagojevich musical is a runaway hit and now details have emerged about a new book from Sarah Palin. No word on the highly anticipated country album from Joe the Plumber."

But since it's not snarky, we'll begin by saying that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is talking about her new book. She announced yesterday that her memoir will be published by HarperCollins and is scheduled for release next spring.

This isn't the first time we've heard about the book deal. In January there were rumors that Palin would be paid $11 million up front for the rights to her story -- a figure she called "laughable."

But considering her star appeal and the agent who brokered the contract, she's the one likely to be laughing, whatever the amount. She retained Robert Barnett, the Washington lawyer who managed the book deals of President Obama, President Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Tony Blair among others.

Title

No title for the book has been announced yet, although Salon is suggesting: "I Can See Russia From my House: The Sarah Palin Story".

But this is exactly the type of thing Palin wants to clear up.

"There have been so many things written and said through mainstream media that have not been accurate and it will be nice through an unfiltered forum to get to speak truthfully about who we are and what we stand for and what Alaska is all about," Palin told the Anchorage Daily News.

By the way, she never said "I can see Russia from my house." That was Tina Fey.

Of course, Fey's line was much funnier and that's the one that's lodged in our public consciousness. Even after her book, that's a quote that's not likely to fade.

Her story

Regardless, Palin said she's going to write the book. "It will be nice to put my journalism degree to work on this and get to tell my story," she said.

And it's not just about the campaign season, although political junkies will surely jump to those chapters first. HarperCollins said the book will touch on her time as the mayor of Wasilla, governor of Alaska, and of course the tumultuous presidential election.

She'll tell her personal story as well, they said, including the challenges of being a working mother with a son serving in Iraq, another son with Down Syndrome and a teenage daughter who went through an unplanned pregnancy.

"I just really look forward to being able to relate to people through this book, those who are anxious to hear stories about people who are facing similar challenges perhaps. That's balancing work and parenting - in my case work does mean running a state, and family involves a large and fun and colorful ordinary family that really has been thrust into maybe some extra ordinary circumstances," the governor said.

Reviews

With the advent of the Internet, average people have much more of a voice in writing book reviews. So she'll have to put up with the good and bad on book sites like Amazon.

And like anything else in our hyper-charged political culture, her supporters and detractors will flood the zone to offer their opinions (and reading the book is optional).

To get a glimpse of what she could face from her opponents, you could look at some of the reviews that Joe the Plumber received for his recent book. This one in particular stands out:

"I could not put the book down. Seriously, something really sticky was on the cover. I think it was some Super Glue. Anyway, with a book permanently glued to my hand I decided the best thing to do was to read it. About half way through the book I decide to cut my hand off.

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