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Mary Trump and E. Jean Carroll Join Forces for Romance Novel

Mary Trump and E. Jean Carroll Join Forces for Romance Novel

E. Jean Carroll and Mary Trump

However, the two women, who are working with law professor Jennifer Taub on the project, say it will be nonpolitical and won't mention Donald Trump.

Mary Trump, the lesbian niece of the former president, and E. Jean Carroll, who recently won a lawsuit against him for sexual abuse and defamation, are collaborating on a serialized romance novel, the first installment of which came out Friday on Substack.

But no, it isn’t political, and it won’t mention Donald Trump, the authors recently told The New York Times.

The two have a third collaborator, Jennifer Taub, an author and law professor. Carroll and Mary Trump are experienced writers too. Carroll is a longtime advice columnist and has written a memoir, What Do We Need Men For?, which came out in 2019 and included her allegation that Donald Trump raped her in the mid-1990s. Mary Trump had a best-seller with 2020’s Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, that man being her uncle Donald.

The three women became friends in a knitting circle over Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic. They wanted to keep in touch afterward, so first they talked about writing a screenplay together, and when that didn’t work out, they decided on the serialized romance novel. Titled The Italian Lesson, it tells the story of “an American woman with a secret past who tries to reinvent herself in Tuscany, where she opens a cafe and meets a handsome local vineyard owner,” the Times reports.

“It’s completely unlikely and weird and counterintuitive,” Trump told the paper. She isn’t worried about it hurting her reputation as a strong-minded political commentator. “Some people said we’re tarnishing the brand — what brand?” she said. “I don’t really care what anyone thinks, or if people go, ‘Oh, it’s a romance novel and you’re not a serious person.’”

Trump, Carroll, and Taub all have newsletters on Substack, so it made sense for them to use the platform for their novel. They hope to find a traditional publisher once it is complete, but for now installments will appear twice a week on Substack. They will be free for the first three weeks; a paid subscription is required to read thereafter. Subscribers will also get knitting patterns and recipes for Italian dishes.

But one thing they won’t get is politics, Carroll said. “This is a no-politics zone,” she told the Times. “We’re giving you an escape.”

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