A Moment of Jen
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Tuesday, November 15, 2005
posted by Jen at 11/15/2005 02:21:00 PM

Part of the fun -- well, really, part of the reality -- of promoting a book is doing whatever press you can get.

Whether it's Good Morning Kentuckiana, the local daily/weekly/monthly paper or magazine, or a publication or TV show with only the most tenuous connection to your work, or to fiction in general, you do it all, with the hope that discerning readers will plow through a piece discussing everything from the cost of your house to the size of your ass or your engagement ring to how you spend your free time rolling around in an imaginary duck pond tearing at more literary authors' eighties-era shoulder pads with your fingernails), and come away with the one nugget of knowledge that matters: "Hey, that Lauren Weisberger's got a new book out!"

Spell your name right, mention the new book's title, and all the rest is commentary. I get that. Most writers do.

What I don't quite understand is what Terry McMillan was doing on the Oprah Winfrey Show discussing not her new book but her failed marriage.

Don't get me wrong. I'm fascinated with the story, and have been since the ugly details of how McMillan's twenty-three-years-younger Jamaican husband preferred boys to girls wound up on The Smoking Gun last summer. Having read HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK, I feel like I know the players and relished a ringside seat at the real-time sequel. (In fact, I think some of my confusion might just be misplaced bitterness that I didn't find out about the Oprah show until after it had already aired. People, you have to tell me these things!)

On the one hand, the Oprah appearance could serve to build Terry's brand, ratchet up her just-one-of-the-you-go-girls quotient, and allow her to speak to every woman who's ever been scorned, wronged, dumped, or discovered a cache of gay pornographic DVDs in the trunk of her husband's car.

On the other hand....I don't know. If I was going to go on TV as the unwitting star of a real-life "Trapped in the Closet" and confront a man who said in court filings that I called him every unprintable homophobic slur in the book and chucked a ceramic cookie jar at his head, I think I'd at least try to time it to the paperback release.
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