I recently finished reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

Towards the end of the book she spends a chapter discussing libel.

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines “libel” as:

a : a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression

b (1) : a statement or representation published without just cause and tending to expose another to public contempt (2) : defamation of a person by written or representational means states:

Typically, the elements of a cause of action for defamation include:

  1. A false and defamatory statement concerning another;
  2. The unprivileged publication of the statement to a third party (that is, somebody other than the person defamed by the statement);
  3. If the defamatory matter is of public concern, fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher; and
  4. Damage to the plaintiff.

So who am I supposed to write my book about now?

I could do what Anne Lamott says and just change the names,  characteristics, gender of the “person” (i.e. character) I’m writing about.

Or I could do what David Sedaris does and make all the characters animals in a fable.  That might be interesting.


One thought on “Libel

  1. Pingback: Surfing the Crimson Wave « MiFOCALS

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