NEW YORK – Gay Talese has disavowed his disavowal.
A day after saying the credibility of his upcoming book, The Voyeur’s Motel, was “down the toilet” because he felt he had been deceived by the story’s primary source, the celebrated author and journalist said he will be promoting it.
“I was upset and probably said some things I didn’t, and don’t, mean,” Talese said in a statement issued Friday through publisher Grove Atlantic. “Let me be clear: I am not disavowing the book, and neither is my publisher. If, down the line, there are details to correct in later editions, we’ll do that.”
Voyeur’s Motel tells of a Colorado motel owner, Gerald Foos, who allegedly spied on his guests for his years. On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that some events in the book happened after Foos sold the motel, in the 1980s. In response, Talese angrily denounced Foos and said he couldn’t bring himself to support Voyeur’s Motel, which comes out July 12. On Friday, Talese said that he long known that he couldn’t always trust Foos.
“Gerald Foos, as no one calls into question, was an epic voyeur, and, as I say very clearly in the text, he could also at times be an unreliable teller of his own peculiar story,” he said. “I am sure I was surprised and upset about this business of the later ownership of the motel, in the ’80s. That occurred after the bulk of the events covered in my book.”
Talese, 84, is widely credited with being one of the leading “new journalists” of the 1960s, applying the techniques of literature to nonfiction reporting. His other books include Honor Thy Father, Thy Neighbor’s Wife and Unto the Sons.