City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn Photo by: PBS

NYC mayor favorite Christine Quinn to release memoir on Irish Catholic upbringing and sexuality


City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn Photo by: PBS

New York City Speaker Christine Quinn, 45, has announced this week that she will release a pre-election memoir just months before her widely anticipated run for mayor of the city.

The book is expected to offer a deeply personal history of her Irish Catholic family and the effects of her mother’s death when she was 16.

Quinn's political history is widely known. She got her start working as a housing activist, then she ran the City Council campaign of Tom Duane, who is now a state senator.

In 1999, after Duane was elected to the Senate, Quinn ran to succeed him on the Council and won. In 2006 she was elected City Speaker, becoming the first openly gay official to hold the position.

'Where we come from says a lot about who we are — and where we can go,' Quinn said in a statement. 'I’m excited about the opportunity to tell my story and, in the process, hopefully help young people who are going through similar experiences.'

Quinn wed her longtime partner Kim Catullo on May 19, in a ceremony attended by the city’s and state’s political elite including the governor, Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York’s two senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Quinn’s editor at William Morrow, Henry Ferris, told the Times he believed there would be strong interest in the book from New Yorkers who wanted to 'find out who the woman is behind the politician.' He added that the book was certain to find a national audience, particularly among women and gay men.

In recent years meteoric political candidates have released their memoirs in advance of elections to introduce themselves to the public and to turn any perceived negatives into positives in advance of election day.

But Quinn is taking a step that is more frequently associated with presidential campaigns, even though she is a front-runner among the expected candidates.

According to The New York Times the book will reflect on her Irish American family background on Long Island, her coming to terms with being gay and her rapid ascent in the hardscrabble world of New York politics.

The book, which will be published by William Morrow and Company, does not yet have a title but is scheduled for publication in spring 2013, just a few months before the mayoral election.


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