Upper East Side Exposé Maybe Not So Factual

'Primates of Park Avenue' will get a clarifying note
By Brownie Marie,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2015 1:04 PM CDT
Upper East Side Exposé Maybe Not So Factual
The cover.   (Simon & Schuster)

In its description of a highly publicized exposé on Upper East Side housewives, publishing giant Simon & Schuster notes that author Wednesday Martin compares "mothers’ snobbiness at school drop-off ... to olive baboons." Now, less than a week after the publication of Primates of Park Avenue, the New York Post claims Martin's facts are the real monkey business—and the New York Times reports her publisher plans to add a "clarifying note" to future copies of the memoir. The Post outlines a number of assertions in the book that it says don't hold up. Among them: Martin writes that she lived on Park Avenue with her two children for six years; the Post contends that she lived there with one child for three-and-a-half years, selling the apartment in 2007.

The book also describes Martin working out at Physique 57, but the fancy gym didn’t exist during the quoted time period. The same problem exists with references to desserts shop Ladurée and Uber, both of which came to the city in 2011. Martin tells the Post that "since the book is organized by topic (ex. real estate, social hierarchies, exercise), it is not always a straightforward chronology." Her publisher backs that up: "It is a common narrative technique in memoirs for some names, identifying characteristics, and chronologies to be adjusted or disguised," Simon & Schuster's VP tells the Times; she says future editions and e-books will get a "clarifying note." The Times reports that it ran an op-ed from Martin on her experience last month, and quotes this line from it: "I stuck to the facts." (More memoir stories.)

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