The Trump presidency has spawned a minor publishing boom. We’ve had tell-alls and behind-the-scenes exposures, the most recent being Crime in Progress: The Secret History of the Trump-Russia Investigation by Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch (Allen Lane), Inside Trump’s White House by Doug Wead (Biteback), and A Warning by Anonymous (Little, Brown). Underlying all such titles is the conviction that the 45th president of the US is an unabashed moron.
And thereby hangs a problem: is satire possible, or even useful, with Donald Trump? There is, of course, much in the way of low-hanging fruit here — the tiny hands, the orange skin, the “hair”, the rampant misogyny, the toxic narcissism, the lying, the staggering stupidity — and yet previous attempts at parody have failed because Trump is, well, parody-proof. He is, simply, beyond a joke — as the British writer Howard Jacobson found when he rushed into publication his 2017 novella, Pussy (Jonathan Cape).