27 Patently Untrue Facts About Famous Writers

1. Margaret Atwood is a magician who worked her way up to Vegas shows through a long apprenticeship in Des Moines, Iowa’s well-reputed magic scene.

2. Neil Gaiman does not, in fact, put his trousers on one leg at a time.

3. Roxane Gay is already your best friend.

4. Dave Eggers is actually a sentient cucumber wearing a wig; the cover-up on this one goes all the way back to Might magazine, where David Moody fashioned the first hairpiece.

5. Cormac McCarthy doesn’t eat tomatoes because of an incident in ’64 that he won’t talk about.

6. William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe once got into a thumb war that lasted 56 hours; Shakespeare lost when he tried to grab for a mug of ale placed just slightly out of reach.

7. Proust has never read Proust.

8. A.S. King is secretly an assassin, but she writes books as a super-effective cover (though her Doc Martins tell the true story there).

9. Sherman Alexie has a pet goldfish named Alistair Von Kittenpants who gets 10% of all his royalties.

10. John Green doesn’t know how to use a computer.

11. Toni Morrison had a conversation with a butterfly last week; both were deeply moved.

12. Roald Dahl thinks you’re the weird one.

13. Dan Brown is actually not a very big fan of Tom Hanks since that time Tom Hanks ate all the devilled eggs at the Da Vinci Code premiere.

14. Stephen King sleeps with a blanket named Li’l Softie and a nightlight because he is terrified of the dark.

15. Philippa Gregory fought a dragon in the mid-80s in Wales and lost, thus dooming her to a life of writing about people who have been banished to Wales for some reason.

16. Lynda Barry is really, really tired of comics.

17. Amy Tan refuses to go to Wawa, Ontario because the town’s giant Canada goose statue judges her literature unfavourably against that of its peers.

18. Tom Clancy was afraid of miniature ponies, so much so that he could never bring himself to cast them as the villains in his war fiction.

19. bell hooks has never eaten a Snickers bar.

20. William Wordsworth hated clams and, by extension, Clamato, with a passion most thought he only reserved for his poetry.

21. Jonathan Franzen doesn’t exist.

22. Oscar Wilde said, “I will one day be more famous for quotations misattributed to me on the internet than for my beloved racehorse, Stephen.”

23. Langston Hughes and Leonard Cohen are the same person.

24. Haruki Murakami walked out of a screening of Pixar’s Up because the woman behind him was eating her popcorn too loudly and laughing inappropriately at the sad bits.

25. David Mitchell holds the World Record for the number of Poptarts eaten at a book signing (43).

26. Colm Tóibín isn’t actually Irish; he did the accent at his first interview for a joke and it stuck.

27. Richard Ford has been literally on fire since 2007.

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