Friday, March 17, 2006


That's what I shrieked when I got to the paragraph below, in a WWD story headlined “Borrowed Memories.” Seems that former London fashion writer Emily Davies signed a $900K (!) deal with Simon & Schuster for her memoir, How to Wear Black: Adventures on Fashion’s Front Line, pitched as “a cross between The Devil Wears Prada and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.” Problem is, WWD discovered that none of the several fashionistas cited in Davies' proposal have any recollection of meeting her. Further, her quotes from those encounters appear to have been lifted from “The Glamour Girl’s Guide to Life,” a 1998 New York Times article by Monique P. Yazigi.

Davies, who reportedly departed The Times of London last year amid an inquiry into her expenses, responded to WWD’s questions with a statement defending her actions in the proposal. Saying it was “not intended for public consumption,” Davies claimed, in effect, that it was easier for her to give prospective publishers the flavor of her memoir by appropriating other writers’ words than by relying on her own memories. “The first thing I did when I began putting together my proposal…was to dig out a mass of notes, cuttings and stories I had assembled over the years.…Although I used these notes in the proposal, there would be no question of my using any unoriginal material in my finished book.”

As the Brits would say: Pull the other leg; it's got bells on it.

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