Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ghost Writing (hey, it's Halloween)

While taking Older Daughter to school this morning, I heard an NPR Morning Edition commnetary by "recovering" ghost writer and Adjunct Instructor of Journalism, . She talks about the glory-that-is-not ghost writing. (She was the Ghost behind Hillary Clinton's It Takes A Village.)

The most interesting bit I found was when she discusses finding a press clipping telling that "a well-known actress had actually written her autobiography without the aid of a ghost writer" and wonders "what does it say about our culture that we take note when people really are the authors of the books that bear their names." Listen here.

She also wrote a lovely article about ghost writing (in which she discusses the It Takes A Village project) here.

In it she quotes from a 1997 New York Times piece: "On any given week, up to a half of any nonfiction best-seller list is written by someone other than the name on the book. Add those authors who feel enough latent uneasiness to bury the writer's name in the acknowledgments and the percentage, according to one agent, reaches as high as 80."

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