Return of the Naked Stranger


For some reason, there's a new edition of the notorious 1969 literary hoax, Naked Came the Stranger, a work that was admired as much for the shape of the ass on its cover as for anything else. Even so, Seattle Weekly's Tim Appelo uses the occasion for a rich look back at the spectacle.

The novels' credited author, "Penelope Ashe," was really a gang of Newsday journalists, led by writer Mike McGrady, who decided they could write best-selling crap as well as Jacqueline Susann. Each one of them wrote a different chapter; they then hired a woman who looked like Susann to pretend to be "Ashe." The book was a sensation, and sold even better when the hoax was revealed. Appelo points out that among the Naked Stranger's consequences was that Newsday's publisher, one Bill Moyers, lost his job.

Thanks to: ArtsJournal