Provocative new novel features US Presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Staten Island, NY, USA — Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has unwittingly resurrected a literary novel in which the fictionalized version of the candidate undergoes sex change surgery to wreak social and political havoc. Monsieur le 6, a hilarious but powerful mashup of sex and politics which could not find a publisher when author John Simmons first composed it, will debut as an eBook in time for the election (Apple River Press, $2.99).
Several characters in the novel originally bore made-up names, said Simmons, the author of several novels and works of nonfiction. “With Trump running for president, and other characters in the novel now dead, the masks can come off,” said Simmons. Other roles in the satiric send-up of contemporary politics belong to former Mayor of New York Ed Koch and his Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, Bess Myerson, with appearances by George H. W. Bush, Cardinal John J. O’Connor, and Jimmy Swaggart.
Monsieur le 6 might have remained on a shelf in Simmons’ closet but for the outsized and outrageous success of candidate Trump together with an unintended assist from The New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, who published an op-ed, “If Donald Trump Changed Genders,” on February 27, 2016. That reminded Simmons that his fictionalized Trump instigated the novel’s most outrageous conceit – genitals exchanged in high places.
As high satire, Monsieur le 6 brings the Marquis de Sade to bear on American politics. Sade, famous for his pornographic works, wrote extensively about politics. Simmons also relied on Herman Melville’s famed The Confidence Man to insure an American feel and context. Today the novel’s ripped-from-the-headlines content should have even greater appeal. Besides the intersection of sex and political corruption, themes include mass incarceration, abortion, urban poverty, and police brutality.
Monsieur le 6 may shock today just as it did in the early 1990s, says Simmons. “The San Francisco publisher City Lights, which had done Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, wanted to publish but decided it could not. The novel acquired nice rejection letters although some agents were less than enthusiastic. One suggested that, as with Nabokov’s Lolita, the novel be stored under a rock for a thousand years.”
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• About the Author: John Simmons is the author of 4 previous novels (The Sharing, Cried the Piper, Lamplighter, and Midnight Walking) and several works of nonfiction. He was the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts in 2011; he and his wife, Jocelyne Barque, are currently completing translation of Aline and Valcour, a monumental novel by Marquis de Sade.
John Galbraith Simmons