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.