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Nov 19, 2017

Today's Guest: John Darnton, ex-New York Times reporter, novelist, Black and White and Dead All Over

The great pleasure of being a novelist is that you can praise your friends and carve up your enemies by changing a few names and details to protect the innocent and fend off the guilty and, at the same time, take advantage of First Amendment protections. At least that was my thinking as I laughed my way through John Darnton’s fifth work of fiction, Black & White and Dead All Over. This roman à clef comes to us in the same twisted spirit as the 1996 sensation, Primary Colors by “Anonymous,” who was later revealed to be Newsweek columnist Joe Klein. Darnton is a 42-year New York Times veteran reporter, editor and foreign correspondent who was awarded two George Polk Awards for his coverage of Africa and Eastern Europe, and the Pulitzer Prize for his stories that were smuggled out of Poland during the period of martial law. Darnton retired from the Times in 2005 and began teaching journalism at SUNY/New Paltz. In 2009, he became curator of the Polk Awards. And I’m guessing fewer co-workers at the old Grey Lady are on speaking terms with him, thanks to Black & White.

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