It’s a common complaint among authors that the world of book reviewers can be rather insular, but this case might take the cake–which is the Post’s Book World section issued a rare editor’s note of apology for a month-old review:
John Irving, author of Until I Find You, has called our attention to his previous associations with Book World’s reviewer of that book, Marianne Wiggins (July 10). That contact, which we have now corroborated, should have disqualified her as a reviewer; our signed agreements with reviewers spell out our conflict-of-interest rules carefully (“if you have had any contact, friendly or otherwise, with the author of this book . . . or if there is any possibility of an appearance of a conflict of interest in the assignment of this review to you, please let Book World know immediately”). Had we known that Irving had dedicated one of his earlier novels to Marianne Wiggins’s ex-husband, Salman Rushdie, and had we known that Irving and Wiggins had socialized with each other in the past, we would not have made the assignment. We apologize to our readers for this misstep.
Neither Irving nor Wiggins, who divorced Rushdie in 1993 after five years, returned calls by the AP.
Don’t you hate when you forget about those pesky ex-husbands? It’s so awkward, because you know for those first couple of years you try so hard to forget the pain and the whole thing, even wish in some cases that you never got married in the first place, but THEN–when you finally DO forget–you run into the person at a cocktail party (or, in this case, a book review) then you’re all like, “OMG! We were married once? NO WAY!”