Several years ago Mark Leyner wrote a hysterical piece for The New Yorker entitled “Eat at Cosmo’s,” where an ad man tries to convince a publisher to insert product placements into students’ textbooks. It’s a great piece of satire, or so I thought. Apparently, Mr. Leyner’s piece was actually a news story - just written too early.
This weekend, WNYC’s On the Media (transcript) broadcast an interview with advertising-consultants-turned-authors Adam Lury and Simon Gibson. The duo have just launched a fiction writing company, Narration Ltd., which promises to deliver - for a six-figure fee - a popular novel on a theme of your choice. Think John Le Carre is too critical of the pharmaceutical industry in his latest bestseller? Fight back with a real page turner – not a press release. While we believe literature and journalism are not exclusively the providence of writers, we need to be aware of the greater potential for abuse and manipulation.
As far as my favorite Mark Leyner piece is concerned, perhaps life doesn’t imitate art - it just get more absurd to make a buck.
Other stories about Narrative Ltd.