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Barack’s brother speaks out

Barack Obama’s half-brother, Mark Ndesandjo, has broken his media silence to promote a semi-autobiographical novel about the U.S. president’s abusive father. Ndesandjo told the Associated Press in a recent interview that the novel, titled Nairobi to Shenzhen, is his attempt to come to terms with the domestic abuse he suffered while growing up. The Guardian reports:

[Ndesandjo’s] self-published novel “ like the president’s memoir Dreams from My Father “ focuses on Barack Obama senior.

“My father beat my mother and my father beat me, and you don’t do that,” Ndesandjo told Associated Press (AP), saying he wrote Nairobi to Shenzhen in part to raise awareness of domestic violence.

“It’s something which I think affected me for a long time, and it’s something that I’ve just recently come to terms with.”

In other Barack book news, the Scotsman (via The Bookseller) is reporting that sales of Obama’s two memoirs, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, have led their U.K. publisher, Canongate Books, to a record turnover of £7.35 million in just six months. The windfall has  propelled the success of Canongate’s publisher, Jamie Byng, whom the Edinburgh-based newspaper describes as the “enfant terrible of British publishing.”

The 40-year-old discovered the works of the then aspiring Democrat politician three years ago, before he rose to worldwide fame. Snapping up the U.K. and Commonwealth publishing rights may yet be the best decision he ever made.

Sales are eventually expected to pass two million “ boosted by an innovative new e-book edition for iPods “ and have put him on course to beat last year’s profits of £2.6 million.

Although coming from a wealthy family “ who helped him buy his company, Canongate Books, when he was 25 “ he is now on course to become a wealthy man in his own right.