Public Square Magazine Primary White, Gold & Black Logo | PublicSquareMag | What is Public Square | Politics, Faith & Family | Home | Public Square Magazine

New Yorker’s Odd Swipe at the Church

The New Yorker published a story last week about the authorship and provenance of the 1971 book Go Ask Alice. The book is presented as the diary of a teenage girl, but a new book suggests that it was composed by Beatrice Sparks, a woman who claimed to only have found the diary and edited it.

The article is a fine read, asking interesting questions about the ethics of publication, and the difficulties of identifying authorship.

But near the end of the article they include this line, “As a few ex-Mormons have pointed out, Sparks was not the first Mormon to publish a text ostensibly based on an original source that the rest of the world did not get to see.”

The line takes a not-quite veiled swipe at the founding of the religion that Sparks was a member of.

I can’t help but wonder if Sparks was a Catholic, would the author have been as comfortable opining, “Sparks is not the first Catholic to put out a book where the original sources aren’t available.”

This kind of winking attack feels more fitting on the ex-Mormon Reddit than in a major publication like the New Yorker.

About the author

C.D. Cunningham

C.D. Cunningham is the managing editor of Public Square magazine. After graduating from BYU-Idaho, he studied religion at Harvard University Extension. He serves on the board of the Latter-day Saint Publishing and Media Association.
On Key

You Might Also Like

Easter is Reality

Many now believe that the more advanced your faith becomes, the less likely you are to embrace the literal realities of scripture. Jesus taught something far more exciting than that.

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Stay up to date on the intersection of faith in the public square.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This