Anna Wintour may be best known as the longtime editor in chief of Vogue, but she has also moonlighted as the editor for her friend Huma Abedin’s new memoir “Both/And.”
“She was the very, very first person to see the pages because I wrote most of the book at her house [in Mastic, Long Island],” Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide, told WWD at a launch party for the book at fashion designer Tanya Taylor’s home in SoHo. “I would literally print the pages and she saw them in very, very raw form. She gave me the big picture, but very clear, concise feedback. I thought it actually helped with the quality of the book — suggestions on what was missing, how to end it. And Hillary [Clinton] actually inspired my prologue. She said you shouldn’t go into this process being defensive. Just write why you’re telling your story.”
It was also Wintour who first suggested that Abedin write a book in the weeks after the 2016 presidential election, an idea supported by Clinton. But it wasn’t until 2018 that Abedin decided to take the plunge.
“About a year later I went to lunch with a male businessman who was giving me advice and I said ‘Listen, a few people have suggested I write my book,’ and he said, ‘Why would you do that?’ I said, ‘You know it’s a pretty extraordinary story — 25 years of public service, served in the Clinton administration, in the Obama administration,'” Abedin recounted. “He said ‘You will never be able to satisfactorily answer all the questions about Anthony [Weiner, Abedin’s ex-husband] and Hillary in this book, and by the way nobody wants to read anymore about that scandal.’ I walked out of that lunch at The Lambs Club in 2018 and said I’m writing this book.”
The book details her childhood growing up in both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia; her 25 years in public service, including years working with Clinton; motherhood, and her marriage to Weiner, the former Democratic congressman and former New York City mayoral candidate who served 18 months in federal prison for sending sexually explicit texts to a teenager.
As for what’s next, Abedin has borrowed an idea from television producer and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes that “this is my year of saying ‘yes,'” although a run for office is very unlikely. “I don’t see myself running for office. I’ve been on the sidelines. I’ve done it at the highest levels. I’ve worked for two incredible administrations. I feel like I’ve finally got a balance in life.”
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