Critic’s Review of Novel Leads to a Fictional Friendship

When NY Times critic Janet Maslin reviewed Patrick Somerville’s novel “This Bright River” her assessment was less than enthusiastic. However, she made a mistake. The error of confusing two characters added to her unflattering critique and may have proven disastrous for Somerville.

An editor at the NY Times, Ed Marks, decided to begin a fictional correspondence with the character to compensate for the error. NPR’s Neil Conan interviews Somerville about his piece in Salon.com “Thank You for Killing My Novel” and speaks about the effect people we don’t know can have on our lives.

Shira S.

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