Washington Post

Author Who Helped Define the ‘New Journalism’ of the 1960s Disavows His New Book

Jul 1, 2016  •  Post A Comment

An acclaimed journalist and nonfiction writer is distancing himself from his newest book after questions were raised about his source.

The Washington Post reports that Gay Talese said he will not promote his forthcoming book, “The Voyeur’s Motel.”

The book “chronicles the bizarre story of Gerald Foos, who allegedly spied on guests at his Colorado motel from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s,” The Post reports. “But Talese overlooked a key fact in his book: Foos sold the motel, located in Aurora, Colo., in 1980 and didn’t reacquire it until eight years later, according to local property records. His absence from the motel raises doubt about some of the things Foos told Talese he saw — enough that the author himself now has deep reservations about the truth of some material he presents.”

Talese, 84, told the publication: “I should not have believed a word he said.” He also said he will not promote the book, adding: “How dare I promote it when its credibility is down the toilet?”

The book is due to be published July 12, after an excerpt ran in The New Yorker in April. “The story attracted widespread media attention and led producer-director Steven Spielberg to buy the movie rights to the book,” The Post reports. “Spielberg has lined up Sam Mendes, who won an Academy Award for directing ‘American Beauty,’ to create a film of Talese’s and Foos’s story.”

gay talese the voyeur's motel book cover

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