Politics

Hunter Biden memoir 'Beautiful Things' to be published in April, will detail drug addiction and sobriety

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Key Points
  • President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden will publish a memoir in April titled "Beautiful Things."
  • Hunter Biden, who has been a target of President Donald Trump and other Republicans, will detail his struggles with drugs and alcohol in the book, according to Gallery Books, the Simon & Schuster imprint that is publishing it.
  • Hunter Biden is the target of a federal criminal tax probe.
This cover image released by Gallery Books shows "Beautiful Things" a memoir by Hunter Biden. Biden, son of President Joe Biden and an ongoing target for conservatives, has a memoir coming out April 6. The book will center on the younger Biden's well publicized struggles with substance abuse, according to his publisher.
Gallery Book | AP

"Where's Hunter?"

Apparently, he will be all over your favorite bookstores' shelves come April.

Hunter Biden — the troubled son of President Joe Biden — will have a memoir published this spring, mere months after Republicans desperately tried to turn his drug- and booze-abusing, sexually reckless and dubious business behavior into political poison for his father.

The book, entitled "Beautiful Things," allegedly will deal with a lot of those ugly things in the younger Biden's life, according to a press release Thursday from Gallery Books, the Simon & Schuster imprint that is publishing it.

The publisher did not reveal how much Biden was being paid for the memoir, which was announced on his 51st birthday — and less than a month after his father took office.

"I come from a family forged by tragedies and bound by a remarkable, unbreakable love," he writes in the book, which the release calls a "deeply moving memoir of addiction, loss, and survival."

Hunter Biden, along with his older brother Beau, were both badly injured as small children in a 1972 car crash that killed their mother Neilia and their 1-year-old sister Naomi, less than two months after Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate from Delaware.

His book, the release says, "details Hunter's descent into substance abuse and his tortuous path to sobriety."

While that suggests the last page will be a happy ending, the memoir is being released amid some unfinished business for Biden that could make for an unhappy afterword in later editions: a criminal tax investigation by federal prosecutors in his home state of Delaware.

Biden has denied any wrongdoing on his taxes.

Hunter Biden and Ashley Biden arrives for the inauguration of their father Joe Biden as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Images

Such legal concerns haven't marred advance praise for the book, which is trotted out on the release in the form of quotes from mega-selling horror author Stephen King, as well as the writers Dave Eggers and Anne Lamott.

Eggers gushes, "Beautiful Things is so concise, so unflinching and propulsive, that outside of turning the pages and occasionally picking my jaw off the ground, I didn't move between the first page and the last."

King, himself a recovering alcoholic, writes: "In AA we say it doesn't matter if you come from Yale or jail, all addicts are the same. In his harrowing and compulsively readable memoir, Hunter Biden proves again that anybody — even the son of a United States President — can take a ride on the pink horse down nightmare alley."

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, when asked about the book Thursday, read to reporters a statement from Prsident Biden and first lady Jill Biden.

"We admire our son Hunter's strength and courage to talk openly about his addiction so that others might see themselves in his journey," the Bidens said, according to Psaki.

Psaki added, speaking for herself, "This is a personal book, about his own personal journey, and I will leave at that."

News about the book came a week after CNBC reported that the president's brother, Frank Biden, promoted his relationship to Joe Biden in an advertisement for the Florida law firm that he advises. The ad was published on the same day of President Biden's inauguration.

"The president's name should not be used in connection with any commercial activities to suggest, or in any way that could reasonably understood to imply, his endorsement or support," a White House official told CNBC.

According to the publisher, Hunter Biden — who graduated from Yale Law School — actually begins his book with the question "Where's Hunter?"

That popular right-wing catchphrase became a verbal tic of former President Donald Trump, his own son Donald Trump Jr. and a slew of Trump supporters last fall.

Team Trump's argument boiled down to the conceit that if the media paid more attention to Hunter Biden, voters would be less likely to vote for his dad.

That history includes cocaine abuse, which in turn led to Hunter having to resign as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, leaving his wife to start dating his late brother's widow, and denying but then ultimately admitting under legal pressure that he fathered a child out of wedlock with a woman from Arkansas.

In 2019, in the middle of that paternity case, Biden impulsively married a young South African filmmaker, Melissa Cohen, less than a week after meeting her. The couple had a son, named Beau, in March 2020.

In addition to Biden's complicated personal life, his business career also has created angst for his dad, fodder for Republican conspiracy theories, as well as the seeds of Trump's first impeachment.

Over that career, Biden has worked as a lawyer for one of his father's biggest political donors, a business consultant, a lobbyist, an investor, and a board member of companies in Ukraine and China.

In the summer of 2019, Trump tried to pressure the new president of Ukraine to announce an investigation of Biden and Joe Biden — who at the time was a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Trump's action, which came at the same time that he was withholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine, led to him being impeached by the House of Representatives. Trump was later acquitted in a Senate trial.

Shortly before the 2020 election, Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, gave the New York Post a copy of a computer hard drive that is believed to have belonged to Hunter Biden, who had allegedly left some computers at a repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware, the prior year.

The Post ran a series of articles about the contents of that hard drive, which reportedly included information about business activities, personal emails and photographs.

Even after losing the election to Joe Biden, Trump continued to focus on using Hunter Biden to damage his dad.

Trump even reportedly considered pressuring the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden's taxes. But then-Attorney General William Barr said he would not do so.

While the evidence in Biden's tax case remains to be seen, the existence of his book proves that young dreams often die hard.

In the early 1990s, Biden applied to Syracuse University's creative writing program, according to a 2019 profile of him by The New Yorker.

Hunter Biden at the time was a fan of the writers Raymond Carver and Tobias Wolff, both of whom had taught at Syracuse, and his "favorite novel at the time was Charles Bukowski's debut, 'Post Office,'" according to the magazine.

Bukowski's first book, like his other autobiographical novels, frankly and unapologetically details a life laden with alcohol.

The magazine noted that "Hunter imagined a more artistic career for himself" than his brother Beau, whose rise through the law profession ended with him becoming attorney general of Delaware.

"He considered getting a joint M.F.A.-law degree at Syracuse," The New Yorker article said.

"But, with a baby on the way, he decided to go straight to law school."