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Complainant Name:
Diane Connell

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Guardian


Author Diane Connell complained to the Press Complaints Commission under Clause 1 (Accuracy) about a review of her book ‘Sherry Cracker Gets Normal' which appeared on the newspaper's website. The complainant expressed concern that the review contained inaccurate claims about the book's characters and plot, which she said were used to support the reviewer's (disputed) assertion that the book contained ‘insulting racial and sexual stereotypes'


Although the newspaper did not accept that the review contained any significant inaccuracies, the matter was resolved when the PCC negotiated the addition of the following footnote to the online article:

D J Connell has asked us to clarify that although her protagonist Sherry Cracker did use £100 to seek advice from various characters including a psychotherapeutic dramatologist, a fortune teller and an astrologer which the reviewer describes collectively as "quacks and hypno-fakists", she visits just one hypnotist and this action takes place before she is given the money. The article also refers to Jocelyn De Foiegras fainting "often". The book's author has asked us to point out that this character faints only twice as a result of being strangled and tied up. The other episodes of unsteadiness, which the reviewer interpreted as swooning, were caused by assault and drinking. The author would also like to clarify that, while the reviewer refers to "chop suey restaurant calendars" as a descriptive shorthand, there is no mention of a chop suey restaurant or calendar from that style of restaurant in the book. Finally the original article said the therapists and mystics visited by Sherry Cracker "all turn out to be involved in a side-plot relating to the robbery of Mr Chin's office". In fact only one4 of these characters was involved in the plot; the article has been amended accordingly.

Date Published: 23/02/2012

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