A Presidential Daughter Gears Up for the Next Chapter in Her Life

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, May 31, 2007

Jenna Bush, author. The first twin completes her transformation from party girl to global activist this weekend when she starts the promotional rounds for her book, "Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope."

Bush, 25, will appear Saturday at N.Y.C.'s BookExpo America, meeting with booksellers to spike sales and generate buzz. "Ana's Story" will be issued Oct. 2 with a huge first printing of 500,000 copies, and publisher HarperCollins will be handing out hundreds of copies of the book at the expo.

So, how'd she do? A peek at the 296-page advance manuscript shows a strong narrative as Bush traces the life of a 17-year-old Panamanian girl living with HIV-AIDS. The two met while Bush worked for UNICEF in Latin America. They became friends, and then the president's daughter spent six months interviewing Ana, her family and others. Her story unfolds like a novel: Ana's parents die after battling AIDS, she is molested by an acquaintance, falls in love with a boy also infected with HIV, and gives birth to a daughter at age 16.

How does Bush address such politically charged issues? In the back of the book, she urges readers to volunteer, educate themselves about sexually transmitted diseases (ideally abstinence, at the very least condoms) and recognize the signs of abuse.

Bush will spend the summer putting the finishing touches on the book and prepare for her public debut this fall, said Sandee Roston, head of publicity for HarperCollins Children's Books. A "very extensive" 15-city tour aimed at teens is planned for October and November, when Bush and the book's photographer, college pal Mia Baxter, will appear at schools and public events hosted by local bookstores.

And if you're wondering: The acknowledgments include nods to her "amazing" parents and "my patient Henry" -- longtime beau Henry Hager.

Greenspan's Publishing Peeps, Showing Reserve

Are you gearing up to watch Alan Greenspan's big speech tomorrow at New York's BookExpo America? Sorry! Unlike past years, when keynoters such as Tim Russert, Rudy Giuliani and Bill Clinton were shown on C-SPAN2, this year's speech is off-limits to recording devices. Instead, the Maestro will speak directly to booksellers and publishing types -- aided by an onstage Q&A conducted by his wife, NBC newswoman Andrea Mitchell.

The camera ban was "at the request of his publisher," said convention spokesman Roger Bilheimer."There are often restrictions placed for different speakers." Tracy Locke of Penguin Press said the company turned away broadcasters because Greenspan hasn't yet completed the book -- "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World" -- that he's promoting. "We felt it's premature for the media to cover a book that's not finished," she said.

Norway vs. Sweden: Paddle of the Century

The rivalry that has simmered in Scandinavia ever since Norway exited its union with Sweden a century ago finally came to a head yesterday in a cathartic race on the Potomac. After a challenge from Swedish Ambassador Gunnar Lund to Norwegian Ambassador Knut Vollebaek, two teams of 10 each met outside the new Swedish Embassy on the Georgetown waterfront to settle this thing once and for all -- in kayaks.

After a roughly 500-meter relay, Sweden crossed the finish line first. "It was a close race, but Sweden dominated the race from start to finish," said Anders Ericson, spokesman for the Swedish Embassy. He said the two embassies hope to make it an annual tradition. The folks from the Norwegian Embassy didn't get back to us -- possibly they had already headed over to the after-party -- so as usual, history is written by the victors.


"I think it's actually normal for a young girl to go out after a huge divorce."

-- Britney Spears in a message to fans on her Web site about her time in rehab, her breakup with K-Fed and that whole crazy no-hair, no-panties phase.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company