The Word on the Street

Elaine Showalter

  • Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics by Anonymous
    Chatto, 366 pp, £15.99, February 1996, ISBN 0 7011 6584 7

At Kramerbooks, Washington’s best bookstore-café, there’s a menu of ‘Primary Colors Specials’, including Lasagne di Paul Begalanese and Pork Chop George Stephen-applesauce. There’s a copy prominently displayed in the new books section of the White House library, and 742,000 have been shipped to bookstores to meet the demand. It’s number one on the New York Times bestseller list; North American paperback rights have been sold for $1.5 million, and Mike Nichols has bought the movie rights for another million. Garry Trudeau has put it into Doonesbury. Street vendors in Washington are selling buttons that read ‘I am not Anonymous.’

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