Sunday, July 27, 2008

John Darnton

Dick Donahue of Publishers Weekly interviewed John Darnton about his new novel, Black & White and Dead All Over. Their first exchange:

PW: Your murder mystery is set at the New York Globe. Are you concerned that people will think it’s the New York Times, or do you hope they’ll think that?

JD: I have to say I employed some clever disguises. For example, everyone knows that the New York Times in its old building was on West 43rd St. between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. The New York Globe, however, is on West 45th St. between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. So you see there’s no connection whatsoever. I thought anyone looking at the book jacket would realize that, unimaginatively, I’ve spent my whole life with the same singular institution, the Times, so there’s no way I could write a book that wouldn’t somehow refer back to the Times. And in a way the Times is perfect for the kind of vehicle I wanted to do, because it is, in my estimation, kind of a perfect setting to describe both what’s happening to the newspaper business today and to recall the glories of what it was like when I first began, in 1966. But if you’re referring to libel, I’m not worried. The characters are—well, some might be, in a certain sense, identifiable, but most are composites of types that are familiar to any newsroom around the country.
Read the complete interview.

Visit John Darnton's website.

The Page 99 Test: Black and White and Dead All Over.

--Marshal Zeringue