By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Everybody’s talking about ‘Who Is the Bad Art Friend?’

I knew I wasn’t going to get around to reading “Who Is the Bad Art Friend?,” a wild piece published recently by The New York Times Magazine about plagiarism, narcissism and the nature of art. But after someone I interviewed last week started raving about it, I knew I couldn’t ignore it any longer.

Fortunately, the Times has posted the audio. The nearly 10,000-word article, by Robert Kolker, clocks in at slightly more than an hour. But it flew by, as it is beautifully written with compelling lead characters. I loved the ambiguity, too. At the end, I found the two writers at the heart of the story, Dawn Dorland and Sonya Larson, to be more or less equally sympathetic and flawed.

The story has a significant Boston angle, too, as the writers met and became friends — or at least acquaintances — at GrubStreet, a well-known creative writing center based in Boston.

Everyone’s been talking about it, but the sheer length might have put you off as it did me. Give it a read — or a listen. You’ll be glad you did.

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1 Comment

  1. Desirée

    I did read it the day it came out, for some reason it caught my attention even though it is not something that I would usually read. I agree with your assessment of the situation, however, more than feeling sympathetic toward the ladies in question, I could not avoid feeling pity for and kind of detesting both of them at the end. Weird mix I know.

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