In November, Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster will publish "Introducing Halle Berry" by prolific TIME senior editor Christopher John Farley. The book will be an essayish bio on the life of Halle Berry, the history of black women in Hollywood and the significance of Berry's Oscar win. Farley, who is also the author of "Aaliyah: More than a Woman" and "My Favorite War: a Novel," first profiled Berry in 1991 when she was in her first major role, the movie "Strictly Business" and has checked in with her from time to time.
THAT'S MS. BITCH TO YOU, BUB:
On August 29, Morrow will publish "The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood and Marriage," edited by Cathi Hanauer. The 26 bitches who have written original essays include Ellen Gilchrist, Hope Edelman, Pam Houston, Daphne Merkin, former TIME writer Natalie Angier, Vivian Gornick, Jill Bialosky, Helen Schulman, Chitra Divakaruni, Karen Karbo, Kate Christensen, Elissa Schappell, Veronica Chambers and Susan Squire. According to the publisher, "These essays are the culmination of the lessons of the past two decades the 'me' years, the therapy years, the years that have taught women to express themselves, feel their rage and acknowledge their needs. The essays here are provocative, honest and moving witty and wise...'The Bitch in the House' will appeal to smart, angry, thoughtful women. From fans of the 'Vagina Monologues' to 'Sex and the City,' there's something here for every woman."
PW Rights Alert reports that "a collection of photographs that show dozens of celebrities all wearing the same cardigan sweater and expressing their very different personalities by the way they inhabit the garment was a novelty buy by Tom Dunne for his St. Martin's Press imprint. It's the work of photographer Stephen Mosher, who spent six years collecting the hundreds of celebrity pictures from which those in the book will be chosen, including Alec Baldwin, Dame Maggie Smith, Glenn Close, Dominick Dunne, Tim Allen, Whoopi Goldberg, Julie Harris, Kathleen Turner, Angela Bassett, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and many others. A substantial portion of Mosher's royalties will go to AIDS charities. Dunne aims to publish for Christmas next year."
BLACK LIKE ME:
On August 6, Crown will publish "American Skin: Pop Culture, Big Business, and the End of White America," by Leon Wynter. PW is intrigued. "Making an indisputable if sometimes obvious case for non-white influence on American culture, Wynter, an NPR commentator and former WSJ columnist, here joins a chorus chronicling the dissolution of America's once-clear racial delineations into a 'transracial culture'...The downside of 'transracialism' is 'the steady erosion of black identity as the organizing principle for community development,' but Wynter concludes that 'the future is not about black people leading black people [but] about black people leading all Americans, especially black Americans,' through popular culture and the commercial marketplace, which, for better or worse, he sees as the motor of race relations."
Publishers have signed up at least two books about the current crisis affecting the Catholic Church. The reporters at the Boston Globe who first broke the story of the abusive-priest cases will be writing a book for Little, Brown. Jimmy Breslin will be writing a book for Crown. According to PW, "Breslin will travel widely, talking to church officials and victims alike about the dimensions of the problem; he will even go to the Vatican. He has made it clear in his columns that he believes the doctrine of priestly celibacy is at the heart of the crisis."
NO IGNORING NORA:
Who was the top paperback author in America in 2001? John Grisham? J.K. Rowling? Nope, it was romance writer Nora Roberts. Sales for Roberts' eight new bestsellers total some 14 million copies, says PW. There are currently more than 145 million copies of Roberts' books in print. Her book, "The Villa" is No. 1 on the 4/28 NYT paperback fiction list; her current hardcover, "Three Fates," was No. 1 on the NYT hardcover list last week.
On September 11, HarperCollins will publish "On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald and 9/11" by Howard Lutnick, chairman and CEO of the brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald, and Tom Barbash. Cantor Fitzerald suffered the largest number of casualties in the September 11 attacks. According to the publisher, "every member of Lutnick's young firm who was in the office that morning nearly 700 traders and salespeople, lawyers and accountants, 164 of his partners, including his brother Gary and his best friend Doug perished in the North Tower." The book details how the surviving employees have been able to keep the company alive against all odds, and the controversy surrounding Lutnick's promises to the victims' families.
On September 11, HarperCollins will also publish "Among the Heroes: The Story of United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back" by Jere Longman. The publisher describes this as "the definitive account of Flight 93's last doomed and heroic moments by the NYT reporter who covered the story." 10-city author tour.
You think you had an odd childhood? Augusten Burroughs, the author of "Running with Scissors: A Memoir" (St. Martin's; July) was adopted by his mother's therapist at the age of 13. Afterwards, says his publisher, "his childhood took a turn for the bizarre with electroshock machine fun and games; month-long family/patient sleep-overs on the front lawn; a physician-assisted fake suicide attempt to get excused from school forever; a pedophile living in the barn; Lithium, Valium, and Halcyon eaten like candy, and much more." The therapist was later arrested for fraud. Former TIME writer Kurt Andersen blurbs the book enthusiastically. "I was reminded of Roald Dahl's 'Boy' and 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius'...Burroughs has produced a memoir that's funny and sharp but also humane, as charming as it is revealing." The publicist for this book optimistically predicts that this will be the next 'Nanny Diaries': "People are already talking about it."
In November, HarperBusiness will publish "Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel" by bestselling cartoonist Scott Adams. According to his publisher, "In this hilarious book, Adams takes a look into the Weasel Zone, the giant gray area between good moral behavior and outright felonious activities. In the Weasel Zone, everything is misleading, but not exactly a lie." Huge marketing campaign scheduled.