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Brought To The Surface, Miners Look Forward To ... Lucrative Book Deals?

OnThe New Yorker's Book Bench, Macy Halford tries to answer a question I heard CNN's Larry King pose last night, which I'll paraphrase here: Are the rescued miners going to get book deals?

Among the hundreds of spectators outside the San Jose mine, surely there is an especially industrious agent...

Halford quotesThe Daily Telegraph:

There are some signs that the men have recognised the value, tactically and financially, of sticking together: they have apparently reached an agreement to share the profits made from recounting their ordeal.

As we wrote earlier, the rescue effort has attracted an incredible amount of attention. Surely there are hundreds of thousands -- maybe even millions -- of people who would want to read a book about the ordeal.

Halford said she'd "read a survival guide by Luis Urzua, the level-headed shift supervisor who kept the men calm and rationed their food during the first seventeen days, before contact was made with the outside world."

I'd read a fitness book by Edison Pena, "an amateur athlete who has been running 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) a day in the mine's tunnels. He is a huge Elvis Presley fan and has been working out while listening to an iPod loaded with the King's songs, which was sent down one of the small tubes." As a counterbalance, I'd read a book by one of the men who demanded cigarettes before food when contact was made, and who probably proceeded to sit around smoking for the next fifty-three days. (Question: if you were trapped half a mile underground, would you work out or say the hell with it? The human spirit is a muddled thing.) Then there are the miners with the prettiest, most dolled-up wives and ladyfriends, those women who have gotten nearly as much coverage as the miners. Surely, as the men begin emerging and looking for a new line of work, the offers for reality-TV shows capturing the domestic drama will be forthcoming -- "The Real Housewives of Copiapo," anyone? These shows would, of course, lead to book deals.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Gura
Based in New York, David Gura is a correspondent on NPR's business desk. His stories are broadcast on NPR's newsmagazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and he regularly guest hosts 1A, a co-production of NPR and WAMU.