I am delighted to announce that Impedimenta, in Madrid, will publish a new Spanish edition of my True Crime book, The Poet and The Murderer. They have done a great job and I am really honoured to appear on their list next to literary titans like Iris Murdoch and Patrick White. This True Crime classic tells the story of Mark Hofmann perhaps America’s most celebrated forger, notorious not only for gulling the Mormon church, but also for creating a ‘previously unpublished’ poem by one of the country’s most loved poets, Emily Dickinson. His career began when he was 14, when he changed a mint mark on one of the historical Mormon coins he collected and so transformed it into a rare coin worth thousands of dollars. Apart from his technical brilliance as a forger, he was a master at manipulating reality. People who dealt with him said they could never tell whether he was telling the truth. He could be one thing on the inside and an entirely different person on the outside. Before he went into a meeting, or crated a forgery, he would use self-hypnosis and biofeedback to steady his nerves. He was also a genius at constructing false narratives, what we would today call “fake news.” He went on to murder two people when another fraud went awry, blowing an innocent woman to pieces and leaving a man to die with nails piercing his eye and entering his brain.
My editor, Enrique Redel, wrote to me: “First of all, our admiration for this book (superb, addictive, one of the most thrilling books we have ever read).” On their website is states: “Publishing house Impedimenta (National Prize for the Best Cultural Publisher, 2008, awarded by the Ministry of Culture) was founded in May, 2007, with the aim of rediscovering those essential literary works which form or will form part of our cultural heritage as readers. Impedimenta’s firm objective is to publish the most worthy examples of classic and modern literature.” Wow.