Former journalist wunderkind Jonah Lehrer fell from grace last summer, after reporters found he had fabricated Bob Dylan quotes, recycled material and plagiarized from at least one other journalist. But nearly a year later, it looks like Lehrer's swift collapse taught him a lot. Not about journalistic integrity, no, but about luuuurve: the NY Times obtained a copy of Lehrer's new memoir proposal, titled "A Book of Love" and it promises to deliver a page turner!
“I feel the shiver of a voice-mail message,” he wrote in the proposal, “A Book About Love.” “I listen to the message. I have been found out. I puke into a recycling bin. And then I start to cry. Why was I crying? I had been caught in a lie, a desperate attempt to conceal my mistakes. And now it was clear that, within 24 hours, my fall would begin. I would lose my job and my reputation. My private shame would become public.”
“Careers fall apart; homes fall down; we give away what we don’t want and sell what we can’t afford,” he wrote. “And yet, if we are lucky, such losses reveal what remains. When we are stripped of what we wanted, we see what we will always need: Those people who love us, even after the fall.”
“I open the front door and take off my dirty shirt and weep on the shoulder of my wife,” he wrote. “My wife is caring but confused: how the hell could I be so reckless? I have no good answers.”
Yes, Lehrer's public shaming taught him how to love, and now he's a better person for it! And he's going to write 80,000 gripping words about the experience, all of which you must pay money to publish and read! Or, at least, that's what he says—for all we know, that voice-mail message was really "improper combinations of previously existing" e-mails, the recycling bin never existed and he wrote that last quote for the Washington Post in 2009. There better be a chapter about how he had never heard of Stephen Glass or Jayson Blair.
The Times says the proposal is currently being shopped around to publishers with a full manuscript promised by November 2014, though Lehrer's literary agents declined to comment on it. Lehrer's book from 2009, How We Decide, was pulled from stores soon after the scandal was unveiled, but as Bob Dylan once said, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again, Mr. Tambourine Man." (citation needed)