Jonah Lehrer, the author of the best selling book on creativity, Imagine, has admitted that he made up some of the quotes he attributed to Bob Dylan in the book. Publisher Houghton Mifflin has announced that it is canceling further shipments and has asked accounts to stop selling it.
The errors were brought to light in the article “Jonah Lehrer’s Deceptions” by Michael C. Moynihan published in the online magazine Tablet yesterday. The New York Times reported that, as a result, Lehrer has resigned his job as science writer for the New Yorker and that the book will no longer be shipped.
The story is being picked up by dozens of other news sources, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, NPR and CBS News. Jayson Blair, the former New York Times reporter who was the subject of a plagiarism case nine years ago, reflects on the story for The Daily Beast.
Imagine has been on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction list for the past 18 weeks. It debuted on the list at #1 and is on the current, 8/5 list at #14. Lehrer published two earlier books, How We Decide (HMH, 2009) and Proust Was a Neuroscientist (HMH, 2007).