Jonah Lehrer, New Yorker staff writer, resigns

Emma Nelson

Jonah Lehrer, a staff writer at the New Yorker, has resigned from his position after admitting to fabricating quotes in his bestselling book, the nonfictional Imagine: How Creativity Works.

According to the New York Times, the fabrication came to light when Michael Moynihan, managing editor of Vice magazine, emailed Lehrer with questions about quotes in the book that were attributed to Bob Dylan.

In a statement annoucing his resignation, Lehrer said, "I told Mr. Moynihan that [the quotes] were from archival interview footage provided to me by Dylan’s representatives. This was a lie spoken in a moment of panic. When Mr. Moynihan followed up, I continued to lie, and say things I should not have said.”

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publisher of Imagine, will stop shipping physical copies of the book. According to the Wall Street Journal, the electronic version will be removed from the market by the end of the day. The book sold more than 200,000 copies.

Lehrer came under public scrutiny earlier this summer for recycling his own work in pieces for different publications. According to the Times, duplicated material appeared in the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal and Wired Magazine, among other places.