U.S. vice-president’s wife stops reissue of sexy novel she wrote in 1981
NEW YORK (AP) – A publisher has cancelled plans to reissue a racy novel by Lynne Cheney, wife of U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney, after she said the book did not represent “her best work.”
New American Library, an imprint of Penguin Group (U.S.A.), was going to reprint Sisters, an historical romance published in 1981 that includes brothels, attempted rapes and a lesbian love affair.
“We felt interest was growing because it was an election year and we decided it could be a timely book,” Liz Perl, executive director of publicity at New American Library, said Friday.
But Cheney’s lawyer, Robert Barnett, said she did not even know about the reissue plans until receiving calls last week from the news media. Barnett then contacted the publisher, which agreed this week to pull the novel.
“I told them that she did not think the book was her best work,” said Barnett, who represents numerous political leaders, including former president Bill Clinton and his wife, U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“If there is a serious demand for this 25-year-old book, I am confident that America’s used bookstores will be able to satisfy it,” Barnett said.
Perl and Barnett said no legal action was threatened. Although New American Library had the rights to reissue the novel, Perl said, there was no desire “to put out a book that the author was not happy with.”
Liberals have often mocked Sisters, noting Cheney is a longtime conservative and President George W. Bush supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
The novel was the subject of a recent satirical performance at the New York Theatre Workshop, with actors reading such passages as: “Let us go away together, away from the anger and imperatives of men. There will be only the two of us and we shall linger through long afternoons of sweet retirement.”
“In the evenings I shall read to you while you work your cross-stitch in the firelight. And then we shall go to bed, our bed, my dearest girl.”
Sisters has long been out of print and is not mentioned in Cheney’s biography on the White House website. In 2001, she told a New York Times newspaper reporter she couldn’t even remember the plot.
Cheney has been active in publishing over the last couple of years, releasing the best-selling children’s book America: A Patriotic Primer, and sponsoring a literary prize, the James Madison Book Award, for the best history written for young people. She was a featured speaker in February at the Association of American Publishers.