In 2003, American essayist John D'Agata wrote a piece for Harper's about Las Vegas's alarmingly high suicide rate, after a fourteen-year-old boy named Levi Presley had thrown himself from the top of the Stratosphere Tower.
The article he delivered, 'What Happens There', was rejected by the magazine for inaccuracies. But it was soon picked up by another, who assigned it a fact checker: their fresh-faced intern, and recent Harvard graduate, Jim Fingal.
What followed was the inevitable. D'Agata's immovable pride clashed famously with Fingal's unstoppable pedantry, and this mere 15-page article generated an ever-heated (and ever-hilarious) seven-year slugfest of fact-checking.
THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT sees this uniquely strained exchange imaginatively and beautifully brought to life, tracing a tone that all-too-quickly evolves from earnest, to sarcastic, to passive aggressive, to all-out war.
- Publication Date:
- 22 / 08 / 2019