Talese Checks Out Of

9780802125811_e194aUPDATE: Reversing his decision, Gay Talese now says that he does not disavow the book and that he will promote it. First reported by Roger  Friedman in Show Biz 411, the story has been picked up by many other publications, including the New York Times.

Author Gay Talese has elected to disavow his latest book, The Voyeur’s Motel, (Grove Press) set for publication on July 12 because of “credibility issues,” reports the Washington Post.

Based on journals kept by Gerald Foos, a Colorado motel owner who spied on his guests for years, movie rights to the book had been acquired by DreamWorks, with Sam Mendes attached to directing. An extract of the book was published as a story in the New Yorker in April.

Unfortunately, Talese was unaware that Foos did not own the motel for the entire period he claimed, a fact the Washington Post uncovered. When informed about the discovery, Talese responded to the Post, “I should not have believed a word [Foos] said,” adding, “I’m not going to promote this book. How dare I promote it when its credibility is down the toilet?”

It appears the book will still be published. Grove CEO Morgan Entrain notes that most of the events in the book took place before Foos sold the motel, but, says the Post, “the company would consider appending an author’s note or footnotes in subsequent printings to account for errors or missing information.”

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