E. Jean Carroll Teams Up With a Trump to Write Romance Novel

Columnist who won defamation case against Donald Trump working with niece Mary on book
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2023 10:09 AM CDT
E. Jean Carroll Teams Up With a Trump to Write Romance Novel
E. Jean Carroll is seen outside a Manhattan federal court on May 9 in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Joining forces with a Trump to write a romance novel after suing the most famous member of that family for sexual abuse and defamation may seem like an unlikely next step for E. Jean Carroll. But that's exactly what the advice columnist is doing with The Italian Lesson, the book she's penning with Mary Trump, former President Trump's very estranged niece, per the Hill. The novel, which will be released in installments on Substack beginning Friday, is "completely unlikely and weird and counterintuitive," Mary Trump tells the New York Times, which adds that Jennifer Taub, a law professor at Western New England University School of Law, will serve as a third co-author.

Don't expect any hidden references to the ex-president in the book, which Carroll calls a "no-politics zone": The plot revolves around "an American woman with a secret past who tries to reinvent herself in Tuscany, where she opens a cafe and meets a handsome local vineyard owner," the newspaper notes. The three authors became close when they all joined a Zoom knitting circle during the peak of the pandemic. They decided they wanted to work on another project together so they could ensure they'd stay in touch.

Their first idea: a screenplay for a "Hallmark-style romance movie," which never quite got legs. But since all three were already users of the Substack subscription newsletter platform, they soon came up with the plan to write a serialized novel instead. Installments are due out twice a week, and readers will also receive recipes based on meals featured in the novel, as well as knitting patterns. The Backstory Serial Substack will be gratis for the first three weeks, then switch over to a $6-a-month or $60 annual plan. As for mean remarks, the comments section will be answered by Carroll herself, and closely moderated. "If you want to insult me ... that's what Twitter is for," Carroll tells the Times. (More E. Jean Carroll stories.)

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