NEW YORK - Damian Quirky, a noted fiction writer, held a press conference here today, and admitted making up everything in his fictional novels and short stories.
He opened the press conference with the statement "So much has been written as fact, like Stephen Glass and James Frey, which turns out to be made from whole cloth, that I felt I owe it to my publisher and to my fans to reiterate that everything I have ever written is completely fictional."
James St.James, the representative from the author's publisher Random House, said "I feel that this statement and press conference is cathartic." Mr. Quirky then began to discuss his latest collection of short stories, Dinners With My Imagination.
"The story Dinner With Georgia O'Keefe? I completely made up every detail. I never met her. Hell, I've never even been to Santa Fe. Dinner With Einstein? Again, completely made up. Einstein had been dead for decades before I sat down at my laptop and wrote it. Dinner With Harley Davidson? Mr. Davidson had been dead for about a century before I wrote that story. I don't even own a motorcycle."
Mr. Quirky was then asked about his latest novel, My Trip To Venus. "NASA has never contemplated a manned mission to Venus," Mr. Quirky replied. "The atmosphere there is poisonous and too hot for any sort of mission. I was never invited to go along with astronauts. Everything in that novel was completely from my imagination."
Another reporter asked Mr. Quirky if the title My Trip To Venus was somehow misleading, despite his denials. Mr. Quirky replied, "I never thought I should have to print a disclaimer at the beginning of that book, or any of my other books. Everyone knows I am a fiction writer, and everyone knows that no human has ever been to that planet. I mean, how much more do I have to do to convince the public that I have always been a fiction writer, and do not aspire to anything else. Booksellers list my books under fiction, and book reviewers have always considered my writings to be fictional. There was never any attempt on my part to present my writings any other way."
A reporter from the New York Times, Judith Miller, then asked Mr. Quirky to discuss a letter to the Times editor from a retired schoolteacher, which had caused quite a stir in literary circles. Mr. Quirky rolled his eyes and said, "The Times has about a million readers. That was only one letter from one subscriber. I don't think it is reasonable to demand a recall of my Venus novel, nor put a disclaimer sticker on every unsold book. That schoolteacher should go out more."
Mr. Quirky concluded the press conference by saying "I shall continue to publish good fiction, and I will strongly resist any attempts to demonize me."