Literary Hoaxes: An Eye-Opening History of Famous Frauds by Melissa Katsoulis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(More like 3.5 stars.) Aside from needing copy editing in the Ern Malley section, this was a good book. It often read like a series of columns about different literary hoaxes and pranks. The only section I couldn't finish was the Holocaust memoirs. I felt ill knowing that these writers were using that tragic period for less than honorable reasons.
Many hoaxes fed into many people's propensity to gravitate toward the outrageous and conspiratorial. The more harmless ones highlighted criticisms of the literary establishment or jumpstarted a writer's career. (Big example: Dan Brown.) Katsoulis's book shows how powerful the printed word can still be, and how journalists, critics and experts are invaluable when it comes to exposing the truth behind the hoax.
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