Book Deal for Pantsuit Nation, Facebook Page Supporting Hillary Clinton



Pantsuit Nation began in late October as a secret Facebook group for supporters of Hillary Clinton (and pantsuit enthusiasts). After the election, it became a place for members to commiserate over their shock and disappointment.

Now Pantsuit Nation is becoming a book.

The group’s founder, Libby Chamberlain, 33, who lives in Brooklin, Me., is publishing a book based on the Facebook page with Flatiron Books on May 9.

Ms. Chamberlain said she’s aiming to amplify the collective voices of the women who shared their stories of overcoming or facing sexism, racism or xenophobia. Rather than organizing the posts into thematic sections, the book will maintain the random, serendipitous feel of scrolling through a Facebook page, with a mix of long and short posts interspersed with images. More of a curator or editor than author, Ms. Chamberlain will draw from some of the images and stories that the group’s members have posted.

Ms. Chamberlain started the group on Oct. 20 as a rallying place for Clinton supporters. At the time, she was working part-time in school administration and caring for her two young children.

“One of my goals was to reclaim the pantsuit as something empowering and revolutionary and exciting,” she said.

It quickly exploded. The group gained 2.5 million members in less than three weeks, and more than a million joined on Nov. 8, when members posted images of themselves decked out in pantsuits and heading to the polls. It now has nearly four million members.

After Donald J. Trump’s victory, Ms. Chamberlain felt devastated, but grew more determined to turn the group into something lasting, particularly after Mrs. Clinton referenced Pantsuit Nation in her concession speech when she thanked supporters “who knocked on doors, talked to neighbors, posted on Facebook — even in secret, private Facebook sites.”

“I chose to interpret that as a direct call to action for Libby Chamberlain,” she said. “I’m not conceited enough to think she’s speaking directly to me, but I chose to hear it that way.”

She hired a literary agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, to help her field inquires from agents and publishers, and quickly struck a deal with Whitney Frick, executive editor of Flatiron Books. “This is so much more than a book about one candidate or even one election,” Ms. Frick said.

In a Facebook post announcing the book news to the group, Ms. Chamberlain emphasized that the book was a collective effort, calling it “a book BY YOU.”

“I believe Pantsuit Nation was more important on the morning of Nov. 9 than it was on the morning of Nov. 8,” Ms. Chamberlain wrote. “Our charge and mission going forward are no less than changing the course of this country’s history. And we’ll do it through stories.”

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