As Beatrice has pointed out, there’s more to the Michael Chabon hoax (profiled in the current issue of Bookforum) then meets the eye. It seems that He Who Shall Not Be Named fired Paul Maliszewski from McSweeeney’s for sending out a fabricated email containing lies about various writers. E—– claims that it wasn’t funny. I’ve tried Googling around for the particular email, but I’ve had no luck. Later today, I’m going to pick up the latest issue of Bookforum to see if I can get more answers from the complete Maliszewski article. But if any of the “hundreds of people around New York” (perhaps regular Reluctant readers?) have the email in question, I’d certainly be curious if the newsletter was a funny Kaufmanesque exercise that went over E—–‘ oversensitive head or a genuine atrocity.
[UPDATE: I’ve emailed Maliszewski and if he has any thoughts on this article, I’ll post them with his consent. I should point out that NYT reporter Alex Mindlin tried getting in touch with Maliszewski by email and phone, but couldn’t get through. So presumably Maliszewski is either deliberately remaining silent or has sequestered himself from humanity. Whatever the case, these pages remain open to him.]
[UPDATE 2: Maliszewski says he has no specific comment on the Eggers comments and directs all curious individuals to his Bookforum article. He writes that it’s “a serious investigation and a fair piece of journalism and is based on my extensive interviews with Chabon, two people at Nextbook, and several members of the audience. It would have been nice to let all that work do the talking, but that doesn’t seem to be possible.” Maliszewski has talked with Dennis Loy Johnson about the Chabon scam and, as soon Dennis has his column finished, I’ll link to it.]