The Obamas are close to agreeing book deals, it has been reported.
The proposals from the former US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are being considered among the “Big Five” publishers in New York, Publishers Weekly reports. A deal for the former first lady is thought to be almost finalised, while the former president’s book is believed to be agreed shortly afterwards. A book by former secretary of state John Kerry is thought to have already been signed, although it is not known by which company. The "Big Five" publishers are Hachette, HarperCollin, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.
Last month the former president divulged which novels had helped him during his time at the White House. National Book Award winner The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehad (Fleet, Little Brown) is the last novel he read while in office according to the New York Times. Other titles which inspired him include Liu Cixin's apocalyptic sci-fi epic The Three-Body Problem (Head of Zeus) and V S Naipaul's A Bend in the River (Picador). Marilynne Robinson’s novels, published in the UK by Virago, are reported as helping Obama connect to the small-town values of hard work and humility and the people he met in Iowa during his campaign in 2008.
In November Obama revealed his hopes for the future in a Lonely Planet article. In a piece written on the publisher's website, Obama discusses how the "optimistic, tolerant and engaged young people" he has met around the world "give him hope for the future", and how interacting with people and cultures from different countries is "essential".