Letters to the Editor

Political Fictions

To the Editor:

I’m writing about the five short stories that appeared as “Five Novelists Imagine Trump’s Next Chapter” (Oct. 28).

I disagree with Donald Trump’s politics and I detest his bullying approach, his lack of intellect and his lack of morals. Nevertheless, I was appalled by The New York Times Book Review’s decision to publish these five prurient fantasies. The Times obviously selected the authors and stories for their apocalyptic conclusions to the Trump presidency.

Eliciting, publishing and featuring these stories serves only to throw fuel on the fire of the current American political polarization. The Trump camp will not make the distinction between the Book Review and your news operation.

You are justifying their claim that you cannot be fair and impartial in your treatment of this presidency. That erodes the important public service that you provide and on which we all depend: to be a source for the truth.


To the Editor:

I am shocked by the extremely bad judgment displayed by the publication of Zoë Sharp’s short story, “How It Ends,” about assassinating the president.

Sure, she has a right to write whatever she wants. But that doesn’t mean that you have to publish it. Your bad judgment was magnified, of course, by its timing and your fictional story’s immediate juxtaposition to actual political violence. But tell me, is there a good time for “the paper of record” to publish a fictional story about assassinating the president?

The concept of civil discourse is already under great attack. I hardly expect The New York Times to add fuel to this particular fire. You have done a great disservice to your readers, to The Times and to the nation.


To the Editor:

I am shocked by your publication of Zoë Sharp’s story in the Book Review.

I am a lifelong Democrat who has been deploring Donald Trump’s election since November 2016, but this is no time to joke about assassinations.

I believe Trump is partly responsible for the recent acts of violence from the extreme right and the very last thing we need is for anyone to fan such flames.


The Halloween Issue

To the Editor:

After reading the news pages on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 28, and needing solace or diversion, I turned to the Book Review, but could not get past the cover headline: “Be Afraid.” The day’s news had already done that to me, in spades!


The Times welcomes letters from readers. Letters for publication should include the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Letters should be addressed to The Editor, The New York Times Book Review, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018. The email address is [email protected] Letters may be edited for length and clarity. We regret that because of the large volume of mail received, we are unable to acknowledge or to return unpublished letters.

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