Unlike the typical politician, Austen always signals the artificiality of her narratives. If only political narratives -- or all the pundits insisting we need them -- could be as honest. But what politician says, "enjoy the artificiality of my American success story?"
The questions arise -- is Michelle Obama doing what she really wants? Is she OK with her current public image and public activities? Or has this image been foisted on her by her husband's political advisers?
The Obamas won't be the last book to corral a legion of unnamed alleged inside sources to spin their personal grudges and wounded slights into a juicy tangle of rumor, gossip, and exaggerations to sell a book.