Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Too Good to be True, But Who Cares

Apparently, a hoax can be so well pulled off that a publisher, even though the scam has been uncovered, would go ahead and publish the book. Such is the case for an author in England. According to an article in today’s New York Times, Rohan Kriwaczek wrote what he said was a nonfiction book, An Incomplete History of the Art of the Funerary Violin. He had papers to back up his story. He had pictures (including one supposedly taken in 1870 that looks a lot like the author). He had a website showing his credentials, like a degree from the Royal Academy of Music (not true) and a lifetime achievement award from the International Federation of Funeral Directors (a possibly bogus organization).

Ultimately, though, the book, due out in January 2007, was found out.

The result? Overlook Press intends to go ahead and publish it. Peter Mayer, Kriwaczek’s publisher at the American publishing house Overlook, acknowledges the book is most likely fiction, but doesn’t seem to care. “I just thought, whether it is true or not true, it is the work of some sort of crazy genius,” he said. “If it is a hoax, it is a brilliant, brilliant hoax.”

Man, James Frey picked the wrong publisher. ‘Course he got more than $1,800 for A Million Little Pieces.

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