Mimi Alford was nineteen years old when she started interning at the JFK White House in 1962. Four days into the internship, she went swimming with the president, and later that day, Kennedy “‘took her virginity in Mrs. Kennedy’s room.” This is one of the more lurid anecdotes that emerge from Alford’s tell-all about her relationship with the president, which will officially be released on Wednesday, but details of which have already been leaked by the New York Post after they found an early copy in a Manhattan bookstore. Interspersed between Alford’s more scandalous claims—she says Kennedy once forced her to perform oral sex on an aide—are more mundane recollections. When they weren’t having sex, the pair spent an “inordinate amount of time taking baths,” and, Alford says, Kennedy taught her how to make scrambled eggs.
A letter detailing how Virginia Woolf and five members of the Bloomsbury group managed to con the British Navy into throwing them a red-carpet reception on the navy’s premier battleship, the HMS Dreadnought, by dressing as a gang of Abyssinian princes and diplomats, is now on sale in London.
Cuba-watchers who have been wondering why Fidel Castro has been so conspicuously absent from the public eye over the past several years now have their answer: el presidente has apparently been holed up working on a memoir. A big one. This weekend, Cuban state-run media announced the release of Fidel Castro Ruz: Guerrilla of Time, a 1,000-page tome based on Castro’s conversations with journalist Katiuska Blanco. And if reading the book doesn’t sound like enough of a slog, consider this: according to Cuban media, the book’s launch party at the Havana Convention Center lasted more than six hours.
They read them so you don’t have to: The Millions rolls out its guide to the best literary Tumblrs.
Riverhead has bought Anton DiSclafani’s “buzzed-about Depression-era debut novel” for a reported seven-figure deal. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is about “a 16-year-old named Thea Atwell [who] is cast out of her upstanding Florida family after a scandal” and sent to an equestrian boarding school in North Carolina.