Author News and Book Reports

David Maraniss travels 60,000 miles for the true story of Barack Obama, next stop Miami Book Fair
Introduced by his boss, Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli, Pulitzer Prize winning associate editor and author David Maraniss took the stage at the 2012 National Book Festival on the National Mall and first outlined the inspiration and reservations for writing his new biography Barack Obama: The Story (Simon & Schuster; June, 2012).

  • David Maraniss will appear at the Miami Book Fair International, Sunday, November 18, 2012, 1:00PM

Maraniss then described his 60,000 mile journey around the world to discover first hand 'what shaped Obama's life?' Beginning with a trek to Kenya and Hawaii to trace the life of President Obama's father, his eventual journey to Hawaii, and his marriage to an 18-year old University of Hawaii student named Ann Dunham, who gave birth to the future President Barack Obama on August 4, 1961. Maraniss then offered a family portrait of Obama's 'white side' of the family in Kansas, where his mother was born and raised and, presenting both anecdotal and irrefutable evidence, scoffed at 'birther' theories. Maraniss then dismissed the myth that Obama is a Muslim, following Ann Dunham and her six year old son from Hawaii to Jakarta, Indonesia, describing Obama's schooling and multi-racial surroundings in detail. Wrapping his presentation, Maraniss followed the Obama story to his college years at Occidental College and Columbia University, moving from LA to NY in a quest to discover his greater purpose in life, and then on to Chicago, where he found a spiritual 'home' and then on to Harvard Law School. Maraniss then took questions from the audience on his search for Obama's girlfriends, focusing on Genevieve Cook, a New York girl he 'loved once'; Obama's years as a community organizer in Chicago; Dinesh D'Souza's discredited, controversial movie and book, 2016: Obama's America; and Obama's personal life as an 'invisible man' in New York.

Book and Author Headlines

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Jim Lehrer packs his bags for 'Tension City' one more time: Famed journalist, executive editor and former news anchor for PBS NewsHour, Jim Lehrer reviews election impact of candidate's temperament and content from a Presidential debate moderator's point-of-view, swears he's done with Presidential debates in 2011, but prepares for one more as 'Tension City' rolls out in paperback in 2012.

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Jimmy Fallon sends a second round of 'Thank You Notes': Actor, comedian, and late-night television host Jimmy Fallon stars at the 2012 BookExpo America publishing trade convention.

Zadie Smith follows her moral compass to the intersection of desperation and privilege in 'NW': Orange Prize-winning novelist Zadie Smith traces her writer's roots from Virginia Woolf to the streets of 'NW' London at BEA 2012.

Monica Wood turns back the clock to 'When We Were The Kennedys': Award-winning, critically acclaimed author Monica Wood travels back in time to 1963, a year of tragic change both for her family and the nation in 'When We Were the Kennedys.'

Robert Olen Butler checks into 'A Small Hotel' to solve an emotional mystery in Room 303: Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction writer Robert Olen Butler reviews the story, characters, and themes of 'A Small Hotel' at the 2011 BEA.

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