New York Times Washington correspondent Jodi Kantor has secured a stunning seven-figure book deal this week with Little, Brown to write a volume on the Obamas.
The deal was the result of a heated citywide auction, and was brokered by independent lit agent Elyse Cheney. It comes on the heels of the 34-year-old reporter’s New York Times Magazine cover story on the Obamas’ marriage, which argued that “the Obamas mix politics and romance in a way that no first couple quite have before.”
It could not be determined whether Ms. Kantor has secured the Obamas’ cooperation, but the fact that her story featured an extensive interview with them in the Oval Office seemed to indicate that she is going into the project with a good working relationship with them.
According to several sources, Ms. Kantor’s book will draw on the three years of reporting she has done since giving up the editorship of The Times’ Arts & Leisure section, in 2005. During the campaign, Ms. Kantor produced a number of biographical stories about the president and his inner circle, including one on his time at the head of the Harvard Law Review, one on his career as a law professor, one on his basketball-playing and one on how his friends were bracing themselves for his presidency.
Ms. Kantor’s book will be edited by Little, Brown editor Geoff Shandler, who is also her longtime friend. Mr. Shandler declined to comment on the deal, as did Ms. Kantor and her agent.
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