Friday, May 25, 2012


Shlumping around at Althouse this morning I saw a post from the 15th (hadn't been there for a while) noting the death of Mike McGrady, the Newsday reporter who in 1969 organized probably the greatest literary hoax in American history when he and a couple dozen other Newsday reporters wrote Naked Came the Stranger, which, as the NYT (sorry) notes, was
Intended to be a work of no redeeming social value and even less literary value, “Naked Came the Stranger” by all appearances succeeded estimably on both counts.

Originally issued by Lyle Stuart, an independent publisher known for subversive titles, the novel was a no-holds-barred chronicle of a suburban woman’s sexual liaisons, with each chapter recounting a different escapade:

She has sex with a mobster and sex with a rabbi. She has sex with a hippie and sex with at least one accountant. There is a scene involving a tollbooth, another involving ice cubes and still another featuring a Shetland pony.

The book’s cover — a nude woman seen from behind — left little to the imagination, as, in its way, did its prose:

"Ernie found what Cervantes and Milton had only sought. He thought the fillings in his teeth would melt.”

The purported author was Penelope Ashe, who as the jacket copy told it was a “demure Long Island housewife.” In reality, Mr. McGrady had dreamed up the book as ironic commentary on the public’s appetite for Jacqueline Susann and her ilk.
Yeah, social commentary. The only reason to mention it here is that the D-blog posted on Naked Came the Stranger way, way back, on only the second day of existence of his miserable blog. He was uninteresting then, too.

She's probably close to 70 years young by now.

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