NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton is still deciding on a title for her new memoir, which will be published this fall.
Cheryl Strayed thinks she has one. “Really Wild,” the author of best-seller Wild suggested Thursday evening as the two shared the stage at BookExpo America, the annual gathering of the publishing industry.
That drew a laugh from the former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee, who has admitted she consoled herself after the election with long walks in the woods, a topic Strayed knows well from her adventures on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Thursday, Clinton had a new book to promote before hundreds of booksellers, and while she got in a few digs at Republicans and the current administration, this was a mellower version of the combative speaker who’s made headlines at recent appearances.
Clinton said several times that she is very worried about the country, and her most directly critical comment of President Trump was: “We are living in such an abnormal time in the way this White House is acting.”
She again mentioned her concern that Russia, a “foreign adversary,” had attempted to influence the election, but former FBI director James Comey’s name never came up, nor did the Democratic National Committee, a target of criticism earlier this week.
Clinton called losing the election a “painful experience,” one she will reflect upon in the new book.
She said writing it has been “an emotional experience,” one that has been so exhausting that, after a couple of hours, “I literally have to get up and go for a walk or go to bed.”
She promised she will reflect on some of the “bizarre, odd” events of the campaign, and that she’ll reveal what she was thinking during the presidential debates. “I’m going to tell you how I saw it, how I felt, because you cannot make up what happened.”
As the first female candidate for president in a major party, Clinton said she carried the burden of a double standard, and that her book will take on "sexism and misogyny. We need to pull it out and put it in the bright light."
The idea for the book came from funny and inspirational quotations she has collected over the years. After the election, she said, she went through the quotes, which helped spur thoughts about the life she’s lived, “the disappointments and the accomplishments.”
Clinton is no stranger to bookstores. She made the best-seller lists with Living History and It Takes a Village; the latter will be released in a children’s picture-book edition this fall.
An avid reader, she talked about her love of Nancy Drew as a girl (“a role model”) and the mystery writers she likes as an adult (Louise Penny, Jacqueline Winspear and Donna Leon are favorites).
The conversation was held at the Javits Center, where balloons were to fall in November for the Clinton victory celebration that never came. If the former candidate noted the irony, she kept it to herself.