Teresa Budasi: September 2009 Archives

Another scandal victim gets book deal

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Lifestyles Advice On Affairs
Jenny Sanford (right) in happier times
with her husband, South Carolina
Gov. Mark Sanford.

Ballantine, a Random House imprint, has announced it will publish Jenny Sanford's "inspirational memoir" next spring. Frankly it took me a minute to remember who she was -- and it wasn't until I saw her name connected to South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford that I remembered. (The governor admitted a few months ago that he had a yearlong affair with an Argentine woman.)

The publisher says Sanford -- who has since moved out of the governor's mansion but says she and her husband are working to repair their marriage -- "will grapple with the universal issue of maintaining integrity and a sense of self during life's difficult times."

My two cents: Does anyone begrudge a beleaguered spouse the opportunity to tell his or her story? No. But it is questionable as to how many books written by wives of cheating politicians we really need? After Elizabeth Edwards' Resilience and the steeped-in-denial interviews she gave while promoting it, politicians' wives are simply beginning to look gullible, weak and as concerned with appearances as their husbands' campaign managers.

The National Book Awards would like your vote.

Organizers of the prestigious literary prize are asking the public to choose the best fiction winner in the awards' 60-year history.

The six finalists, announced by the National Book Foundation, are:

* The Stories of John Cheever
* Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
* Collected Stories of William Faulkner
* The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor
* Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
* The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

Votes can be cast through the Web site www.nbafictionpoll.org through Oct. 21. The winner will be announced Nov. 18.


Tim Gunn: Fashion crimefighter

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Tim Gunn
Tim Gunn is mentor to fashion designer
wannabes on "Project Runway."

Fashion  Tim Gunn Superhero
Tim Gunn (in gray hair and glasses) as superhero.


Tim Gunn is taking his fight against fashion crimes from the workrooms of "Project Runway" to the pages of a comic book. And, wow, does he get to wear a power suit.

The "Loaded Gunn" story line -- to save an exhibit of extraordinary superhero clothes from a cadre of villains -- is part of a book that reintroduces a group of Marvel's high-fashion "Models Inc." comic characters from the 1960s.

"It's a little 'America's Next Top Model' -- without Tyra (Banks) -- and a little 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,"' says Marvel editor Charlie Beckerman.

The Gunn project evolved on a whim, but it turned out Gunn was a childhood comic fan and a good sport, Beckerman says.

Gunn says the experience has been "the most bizarre thing."

"It's exciting and exhilarating, but bizarre. When they came to me, I said, 'I'm about to turn 56 years old. Are they crazy?' But it kept revealing itself in layers and next thing, I'm wearing the 'Iron Man' suit. I was dumbstruck."

Personally, Gunn says he always fancied himself more of a Batman type, but he's pleased with the result.

"Most superheroes are fighting the same thing -- good vs. evil -- but who's taking on crimes against fashion? Me!"

The biggest offense, hands down: clothes that don't fit properly, Gunn says. And, if he had the truly incredible power to remove one item from closets all around the world, no question it would be Crocs.

"It's the No. 1 fashion crime item -- and I see it a lot," Gunn says.