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Alleged Molester Still Gets Blurbs

“I felt somewhat betrayed.”

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When Tony Hendra’s memoir, Father Joe, came out in 2004, Adam Gopnik called it “beautifully captured,” and Andrew Sullivan found it “extraordinary, luminescent, profound.” Both are quoted as saying so on the cover of Hendra’s brand-new novel, The Messiah of Morris Avenue. But the praise was written before Hendra’s daughter, Jessica, alleged in her memoir, How to Cook Your Daughter, that he’d left out something crucial in his autobiography—she says that he’d molested her. (Hendra has always denied the claim.) Gopnik sounded a bit surprised, if not upset, to be included: “No, as it happens, no one did ask me about reusing the blurb.” But Sullivan (pictured), while conceding that quoting from his review is “fair use,” was disturbed. “I felt somewhat betrayed as a reader that someone who had bared his soul might not have actually bared it all,” he said. “I have been in contact with his daughter and apologized for any additional pain my review might have caused.” A spokesperson for publisher Henry Holt insists, “We did not run into any snags getting blurbs.” She adds that recycling blurbs is “standard practice.”


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