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Dreaming of Gwen Stefani

By now many of you are aware of the publication this week of Dreaming of Gwen Stefani, a book by a man named Evan Mandery. Mr. Mandery worked at Payaya Queen briefly in the early 1990s during which period we had an association that fell something short of a friendship. Mr. Mandery worked on Ruth Messinger's mayoral campaign in 1997 and wrote a book creatively titled The Campaign about his experiences working for Messinger. It is a humorless text that has been largely ignored -- but for suspcious characterizations of it as a classic by The Jewish Press and The Gotham Gazette -- and reveals Mandery as a imagination-less fraud.

It should be no surpirise to anyone that his first novel is also derivative. It is about a man named Mortimer Taylor Coleridge (creative!) who works in a Papaya Queen hot dog stand (more creative!) who becomes fascinated with Gwen Stefani (ultimately creative!)

Some of the themes in the book are consistent with ideas that I have articulated in this blog and in private conversation, but the ostensible merits of the content of the book do not change its derivative nature. I have reviewed an advance copy of the book. If the identity of the names were not sufficient proof, it is clear to anyone who knows me that it is entirely derivative of my life. The book contains diary entires that infringe my privacy. For the record, I denounce the book specifically, Mr. Mandery in general, and am in contact with attorneys about this matter.

It is true that I briefly knew Mr. Coleridge during the 1990s, but I categorically deny the characterization of the book as derivative. It is true that the novel contains excerpts of the main character's journal, and I am aware that Mr. Coleridge was a prodigous diarist, but these are not Mr. Coleridge's journal entires. The fact that Mr. Coleridge is intensely fascinated with Gwen Stefani does not give him a monopoly in the fiction universe of the concept of a book about a man who is intensely fascinated with Gwen Stefani.

I am not sure what Mr. Coleridge regarded as suspcious about The Jewish Press's listing of my book, The Campaign, on a short list of outstanding books about politics, but I strongly encourage him to reconsider his tone.

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