New Deals: All in the Family

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12/17/2008 2:00 PM |

Exciting and horrifying new book deals!

Publisher’s Marketplace reports the pre-empt sale of a new memoir this week, written by 78-year-old poet and writer Margaret Robison. Name doesn’t sound familiar? You might know her sons, instead: Robison is the mother of established memoirists Augusten Burroughs (Running With Scissors, Dry, A Wolf at the Door) and John Elder Robison (Look Me in the Eye). This is her opportunity to “tell her own story her way,” according to Publisher’s Marketplace. Possible code-speak: I’m beyond irritated that my disrespectful kids wrote mean things about me and became best-selling authors with movie adaptations and lots of fame. Time to get them back! (Running With Scissors portrays Robison as a cold-hearted, brutal sort of abandoning monster-mom.)

Robison’s forthcoming book, A Place to Come Home To, will be published by the Spiegel & Grau imprint of Random House. It draws on journals and diary entries to chronicle her life in southern Georgia, an abusive marriage, and raising two sons “whose own memoirs would become publishing phenomena.” After recovering from psychosis and a massive stroke, Robison sat down to spin her the tale of her life. Here’s a snippet of an All Things Considered profile on Robison, which, if anything, makes it clear that the chapter she devotes to Burroughs in particular — his birthname was Chris — is sure to be a doozy. She calls Augsten Burroughs, the person, “fiction.”