Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 4.33.59 PMThe buzzy memoir Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin (Simon & Schuster; ebook, 9781476762722) is falling victim to the truth squad with questions arising about the events in the book and its timeline.

According to The New York Times, publisher S&S plans to add a note to future editions as well as the eBook, saying “It is a common narrative technique in memoirs for some names, identifying characteristics and chronologies to be adjusted or disguised, and that is the case with Primates of Park Avenue. A clarifying note will be added to the e-book and to subsequent print editions.”

After early juicy reporting pre-publication, questions have been raised by the New York Post about how accurate the stories are. Reviewing it, Janet Maslin in the daily New York Times includes whoppers such as “Ms. Martin’s description of her book as a ‘stranger-than-fiction story’ is fair — but only because fiction usually makes sense” and “someone has a book to fill and a theme to stick to, regardless of whether it has any point.” On the other hand, Vanessa Grigoriadis in the NYT Sunday Book Review, someone who knows the territory, wasn’t bothered if a few things are suspect, “the sociology rings true, even if the codification can be off (a common practice among stay-at-home moms and their working husbands in a flush year called ‘presents under the Christmas tree’ is here designated a ‘wife bonus’). ”

On track to hit best seller lists this week, the attention is likely to only add to the interest, following the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

One Response to “PRIMATES OF PARK AVENUE Raises Doubts”

  1. Ashley Says:

    Working at a library in an upper-class/upper-middle-class community, I can confirm that this is the most buzzed-about book of the moment among adult women readers.

    For some, it reminds them of the life they left in the City and why they came out here to “the country.” Others feel like it captures this town and its various mommy cliques, social clubs, and dinner party scenes. And then a large segment want it just for the hate-read aspect; it seems there’s something cathartic about reading about those who act “above” you — and then finding out they lied.

    But invariably, when patrons bring it to the desk or ask to be put on the waitlist, they always apologize for wanting to read it. It’s like a new “Fifty Shades” in that respect. “Oh, I know it’s trashy, but I just want to see what the fuss is about…” ;)

    This one is not going away!