Book Deals

oj simpson mug shot Above the Law no pun intended.jpgBecause if people could be tried for the same crime twice, then we’d probably never be gifted with O.J. Simpson’s forthcoming magnum opus, “If I Did It.”
Yes, that’s right: “If I Did It.” Here are the details:

Fox plans to broadcast an interview with O.J. Simpson in which the former football star discusses “how he would have committed” the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend, for which he was acquitted, the network said. The two-part interview, titled “O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened,” will air Nov. 27 and Nov. 29, the TV network said….

“O.J. Simpson, in his own words, tells for the first time how he would have committed the murders if he were the one responsible for the crimes,” the network said in a statement. “In the two-part event, Simpson describes how he would have carried out the murders he has vehemently denied committing for over a decade.”

The interview will air days before Simpson’s new book, “If I Did It,” goes on sale Nov. 30. The book, published by Regan, “hypothetically describes how the murders would have been committed.”

The title of Simpson’s book reminds us of these lines from Macbeth:

If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly…

These lines refer, of course, to murder. But they could just as easily apply to O.J.’s return to the public spotlight.
So let’s get this over with, and send Simpson back to the golf course forthwith — since we can’t send him to where he really belongs.
O.J. to Say How He Could Have Done It [AP via New York Times]
O.J. Simpson to Discuss Killings [Associated Press]

jed rubenfeld 5.JPGOr so says the Wall Street Journal, in a fascinating front-page article about the disappointing sales for the Yale law professor’s debut novel, The Interpretation of Murder.

The strikingly handsome Jed Rubenfeld is a con law professor and deputy dean at Yale Law School (as well as a contestant in our Law School Dean hotties contest; but sorry, ladies, he’s married to fellow YLS professor Amy Chua). Henry Holt & Co. paid Rubenfeld an advance of $800,000 for U.S. rights to his novel, and his superstar agent, Suzanne Gluck of William Morris, “sold foreign rights to 31 publishers for more than $1 million.” As the WSJ explains, “[t]hat effectively valued Mr. Rubenfeld’s manuscript above $1.8 million, not including the undisclosed sum Warner Bros. paid for movie rights.”

But based on early sales figures, Rubenfeld’s hopes of topping the bestseller list may be about as realistic as his chances of catching up with current leader Evan Caminker in the ATL hotties contest. We suspected things might not be going swimmingly when we recently saw copies of The Interpretation of Murder marked “45% Off — Clearance” at Books A Million in Dupont Circle. (See also this reader comment.)

(UPDATE: Ann Althouse has a theory as to why Professor Rubenfeld may not be faring better in the hotties contest.)

More details about Rubenfeld’s foray into the literary world, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Jed Rubenfeld May Be Hot, But His Book Is Not”

julie buxbaum.jpgYesterday we wrote about Julie Buxbaum, the 2002 graduate of Harvard Law School who just landed a $500,000, two-book deal with Dial Press. We also asked you for more information about her — where she practiced law before leaving for the writing life, what she’s like as a person, etc.
Via Friendster, we learn that this Harvard Law hottie is 29 years old, in a relationship, and residing in Los Angeles. She has highbrow tastes in literature — e.g., Interpreter of Maladies, The Unbearable Lightness of Being — and less highbrow tastes in movies — e.g., Revenge of the Nerds.
We also learned some things about Julie Buxbaum through your emails. One tipster stated, upon information and belief, that she worked in the L.A. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Another tipster, however, said she used to work at litigation boutique Hennigan, Bennett & Dorman. Our speculation: Julie started off at GDC, then left for Hennigan Bennett (Biglaw to boutique — a perfectly logical career path).
alf.jpgThe most fun tidbit about Ms. Buxbaum? That her brother was a child actor who went by the stage name Josh Blake. This piece of information is corroborated by the IMDb entry for Josh Blake, “sometimes credited as Josh Buxbaum.” For devotees of the late 80’s sitcom ALF, you may recall Blake as Jake Ochmonek, the “belligerent nephew” of the Tanners’ next-door neighbors, who was befriended by that furry alien from the planet Melmac.
Julie Buxbaum [Friendster]
Josh Blake [IMDb]
Earlier: Harvard Law Hottie Lands Monster Book Deal

julie buxbaum.jpgWe follow the media and publishing worlds almost as closely as the legal world, so we’re not quite sure how we missed this. But we did, and we’re sorry. So we’re bringing it to you now, a few days late — and we apologize if you’ve already read about it somewhere else.
For all of you lawyers who are frustrated writers, this news may inspire or depress you, depending upon how you react to news of other people’s good fortune. Here’s a book deal announced last week in Publishers Marketplace:

Julie Buxbaum’s debut novel THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE, about a 29-year-old attorney who lost her mother as a teenager and finds her well-constructed life falling apart when she can’t commit to the man who loves her, to Susan Kamil at Dial Press, in a major deal, for publication in winter 2008, in a two-book deal, by Elaine Koster of the Elaine Koster Agency (US).

For those of you not conversant in PM-speak, “a major deal” is one with an advance of $500,000 and up.
The timing of the deal announcement was a bit ironic. That same week, Ms. Buxbaum wrote an essay for 02138, the new magazine by and about Harvard alumni, in which she waxes poetic about turning her back on Biglaw to pursue life as a sushi-starved artist. Here’s the money quote:

I am currently dressed in head to toe Old Navy. My highlights are grown passed [sic] my ears. That latte is a splurge, sushi an absolute no-no. And, of course, there is the constant, nagging guilt — like an angry rash — when I check my dwindling bank balance, when I remember I spent close to a quarter million dollars on higher education, when I realize that it was less than a year ago that I was making six figures. I was a litigator at a top law firm, an HLS graduate, a somebody. Now, well, to be honest, I am not too sure who I am, what exactly I “do.”

Not sure “what exactly you ‘do,'” Julie? Try this on for size: You collect a cool half-a-mil for being the latest hot young female writer with an Ivy League degree and a chick-lit manuscript.
Best of luck, Julie. May your tale end more happily than that of the last young Harvard gal who landed a $500,000 book deal.
Anyone have any intelligence to share about the comely Ms. Buxbaum — what she’s like, where she worked as a litigatrix, etc.? If so, please chime in.
Struggling Ivy Leaguer Makes Good [Gawker]
Meet Miss Hot Young Author Chick 2007 [GalleyCat]
Julie Buxbaum: The Opposite of Love [Publishers Marketplace (subscription)]

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