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Thursday, March 10, 2016

How Close Is Too Close In Writing? Haven Kimmel

When novelist and poet, Haven Kimmel wrote her first memoir, A Girl Named Zippy, the granddaughters of her ex-third grade teacher, were not happy. Perhaps it was because she referred to their still-living grandmother as "the meanest woman in the history of Mooreland Elementary School.

At any rate, they sued. 

Kimmel, undaunted, collected depositions from 50 other former third-graders, who, it seems, agreed with the description. She faxed these to Doubleday, who sent them on to the granddaughters.

They dropped the suit. 

Good thing the crazy neighbor who wore the same dress 23 days in a row and "clacked her false teeth together like a castanet," had already died. No surviving relatives took offense. 

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