Blurring Nonfiction and Fiction

Can You Trust What You Read?

"In this week's issue," he said, "a mistake in a piece got through into print."

To the editor at this time, William Shawn, this was utterly impermissible. Everyone who edited, fact-checked, or wrote for the magazine knew it. And we tried very hard not to be responsible for the building falling down.

William Shawn: Late chief of The New Yorker’s fact police
photo: Marina Garnier
William Shawn: Late chief of The New Yorker’s fact police

This fear—and that's what it is—should become endemic in book publishing. Nonfiction should mean exactly that.

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