Thursday, October 27, 2016
Wendi Adelson's Novel: Art Imitating Life?
Following up on my previous post, What Wendi Adelson's Novel Reveals About Dan Markel's Murder: Above the Law, The Dan Markel Case: Insights From Wendi Adelson’s Novel:
Over at Outside the Law School Scam, blogger “dybbuk123” took one for the team and read This Is Our Story, the “criminally lousy” novel written by Dan Markel’s ex-wife, Wendi Adelson. ...
A source of mine who also read This Is Our Story shared additional interesting observations:
The basic premise of Attorney Lily’s life is that she married a professor (Joshua Stone). She says that she married him too quickly, and that at the time she was “absolutely sick and tired of dating” and saw “dating, at its best, as nothing more than a romantic interview. ‘Are you the kind of person who would produce good looking, smart and nice children and never cheat on me and help me clean up the kitchen and love me even when I’m grouchy and not trade me in for a younger model and not join the other team?'”
This is, you may recall, pretty much exactly what Wendi said about Dan in her writing-class podcast — that she married a man she lacked passionate love for because she figured he would be a good father.
Joshua gets a job at North Florida State University in Hiawassee Springs (“the ‘Wassee), a small town in the Florida panhandle. Lily moves there because that’s where his job is, but she hates it. She takes many digs at “the Wassee” throughout the book — making fun of the people, their speech, their clothing, calling the town “irrelevant.”
This is consistent with what sources have described as Wendi’s dislike and disdain for Tallahassee, which she fled in favor of cosmopolitan Miami as soon as she could after Dan’s death.
Here are my source’s final reflections on the book:
Lily eventually finds her niche as an immigration lawyer helping victims of human trafficking, but her husband does not seem to respect what she does. There are lots of digs at the husband throughout — he doesn’t wear a wedding ring, he is distant from her, he wants her to have children and doesn’t care that she would have to give up the important work she is doing…. There is not much that is likable about the husband, because the book is told from Lily’s perspective and she is the heroine….
A couple of observations after having read it:
(1) The book was originally published in 2011, so — when they were still married. Given that the book casts Attorney Lily as a savior and Joshua Stone as kind of a dick, it seems kind of bold, arrogant, or aggressive to write and publish a book that includes a commentary on your marriage or your husband.
(2) This book could be the ultimate mind-twister for Dan, too. If he read it and got mad about something, she could just say, “But it’s fiction.” I feel like some of the details were thrown in there just for that purpose — to drive him crazy….
(3) In the podcast, Wendi said that Dan did not read her novel. I would be willing to bet almost anything that he did (even if you despised your spouse by the time the book was published, wouldn’t you be interested to see what it said about you?), but told her he didn’t because he didn’t feel like engaging with her on the book’s commentary on their marriage. [Ed. note: As noted by Dybbuk, “whatever his private misgivings, Markel extensively promoted Adelson’s debut novel, This Is Our Story, on his popular academic blog “Prawfsblawg.”]
(4) [My] main reaction to reading this book was the same reaction the Amazon commenter had when she read it a year before the murder. Wendi is a narcissist, plain and simple, and I felt like she was playing games by “selfishly” (as she herself says in the afterword) writing her own story into the book.
(5) Wendi says in the podcast that she never had a chance to tell her story or share how things looked from her perspective. She did. She told it in this book. In fact, this line from the podcast: “And I don’t get to complain that I didn’t do anything of those things because I am alive.” Same basic line appears in her book. She describes all of these things she dislikes about her life — living in “The Wassee,” being unsure about whether she wants to have children — and then: “The complicated truth is that I feel guilty complaining about anything when my clients’ lives are so hard.” Makes the line from her podcast seem inauthentic — like it’s just a rehearsed line.
Is Wendi an “inauthentic narcissist” spouting “rehearsed lines”? I’ve defended her before, but I know from my reader mail that many people respectfully dissent.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Man Arrested In Murder Of Dan Markel (May 26, 2016)
- Dan Markel Killing Investigated As Murder for Hire, 5-6 More Arrests Expected (May 26, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death (May 31, 2016)
- Police: Dan Markel Was Killed In Murder-For-Hire Plot Orchestrated By Ex-Wife's Brother (June 2, 2016)
- Anatomy Of The Hit On Dan Markel (June 4, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death (June 6, 2016)
- Wendi Adelson Discusses Her Ex-Husband Dan Markel's Murder: Transcript And Commentary (June 8, 2016)
- Dan Markel's Law Prof Colleagues Finger Ex-Wife's Family In Murder-For-Hire Killing (June 10, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death (June 13, 2016)
- Grand Jury Indicts Two Hit Men In Dan Markel's Murder, State Attorney Expects More Indictments; Girlfriend Of Ex-Brother-in-Law Denies Ex-Wife's Family's Involvement (June 18, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death: In Defense Of Charlie Adelson (June 21, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death: Hit Men Thwarted In Previous Attempt To Kill FSU Law Prof (June 27, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death: Charlie Adelson Denies 'Any Involvement' (July 3, 2016)
- Lawyer Denies Adelson Family's Involvement In Dan Markel's Murder, Fingers Florida State Law Students, PrawfsBlawg Readers As Possible Suspects (July 18, 2016)
- Today Marks Two Year Anniversary Of Dan Markel's Murder (July 18, 2016)
- The Adelson Family (Through Their Attorneys) Deny Any Involvement In Dan Markel's Murder (Aug. 3, 2016)
- Prosecutors Seek Records Showing Wendi Adelson's Brother Paid For Breast Enhancement Surgery For Mother Of Hit Man's Children After Dan Markel's Murder (Aug. 20, 2016)
- Judge In Dan Markel Murder Case Approves Subpoena To See If Wendi Adelson's Brother Paid For Breast Implants For Mother Of Hit Man's Children (Aug. 23, 2016)
- Police Video Released Of Wendi Adelson Being Told Of Dan Markel's Murder, Says Her Brother Joked About Hiring A Hit Man (Aug. 27, 2016)
- FBI Interview With Ex-Girlfriend Of Dan Markel's Ex-Brother-in-Law/Mother Of Hit Man's Children (Aug. 28, 2016)
- Adelson Family Will Not Be Charged In Dan Markel's Murder Despite Circumstantial Evidence Released By Police (Including $1 Million Offer To Allow Children To Move To Miami, Communication And Money Trail To Hit Men) (Sept. 9, 2016)
- Police Reach Out To Feds As Tensions Flare With Prosecutor Over Decision Not To Charge Adelson Family In Markel Murder; Ex-Brother-in-Law Discussed Killing Undercover Agent (Sept. 10, 2016)
- ABC News To Feature Dan Markel Murder Case On Friday's 20/20 Program (Sept. 14, 2016)
- Last Night's ABC News 20/20 Program On The Dan Markel Murder: In-Laws & Outlaws (Sept. 17, 2016)
- Judge Denies Change Of Venue In Trial Of Markel's Alleged Hit Man; Defense Seeks Testimony Of Other Possible Perpetrators (Sept. 29, 2016)
- Katherine Magbanua (Mother Of Hit Man's Children, Worker In Adelson Dental Practice, Girlfriend Of Charlie Adelson) Charged With Murder of Dan Markel (Oct. 2, 2016)
- More On Katherine Magbanua's Arrest In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 3, 2016)
- Plea Deal For Hit Man In Dan Markel Murder (Oct. 4, 2016)
- Prosecutors Zero In On Adelson Family After Plea Deal With Hit Man, Arrest Of Accomplice In Markel Murder(Oct. 5, 2016)
- Hit Man Implicates Wendi Adelson In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 11, 2016)
- Update: Hit Man Implicates Wendi Adelson In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 12, 2016)
- Wendi Adelson's Attorney Questions Credibility Of Hit Man's Statement Implicating Ex-Wife In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 13, 2016)
- Dan Markel's Parents Discuss With Prosecutors Emergency Placement Of Their Grandchildren Upon Forthcoming Arrests Of Adelsons (Oct. 14, 2016)
- Update On Dan Markel Murder Investigation (Oct. 15, 2016)
- More Details Emerge Linking Adelson Family To Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 18, 2016)
- What Wendi Adelson's Novel Reveals About Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 19, 2016)
- The Dan Markel Murder Investigation: Why Was Katherine Magbanua's First Degree Murder Charge Reduced To Second Degree Murder? (Oct. 25, 2016)
- CrimeStoppers Reduces Reward For Tips In Dan Markel Murder Investigation From $25k To $3k (Oct. 26, 2016)
Florida State University is a massive research institution (40,000+ enrollment) with doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, in engineering, and in the academic aspect of an array of vocational disciplines. It lacks a medical school, but that's a suboptimal locus for a teaching hospital. As for Tallahassee, the dense settlement holds more than 150,000 people (most drawing a paycheck or a pension check from the state government or the university). It's not as intensely academic a community as State College, Pa, or Ithaca, NY, but there's an ample supply of people an overeducated haut bourgeois can tap for friends. With scant doubt this woman's problem was a habit of looking down on everyone and everything.
Posted by: Art Deco | Oct 27, 2016 1:10:16 PM