Literary Scandal of the Week cont’d
A shocking twist yesterday in what they’re (probably) calling Amazon-gate as Orlando Figes, the highly respected, award-wining writer of A People’s Tragedy confessed that the author of the scathing online reviews of his rivals’ books was not in fact his wife, Cambridge academic and barrister Stephanie Palmer, but himself.
Credit to Figes though for a highly imaginative defence (as related by ‘victim’ Rachel Polonsky to the Daily Telegraph):
“I understand that he is claiming that he has been traumatised by the research he did with victims of the Russian gulags which caused him to behave like this. I think it is horrific to use one of the greatest acts of criminality in history to excuse his bad behaviour. In any case he has been behaving like this for years beforehand.”
Oxford don Robert Service was another writer who had his work trashed by Figes. Read his response to yesterday’s revelation on the Guardian website. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, the scandal has on the book sales of all involved.