After a long and storied career that has seen several New York Times bestsellers, countless literary awards, and honorary doctorates from Princeton, Cambridge, and the University of Phoenix, beloved literary icon Judith Nance has decided to tank her sterling reputation once and for all by stepping up her presence on Twitter.
“Frankly I was just getting so profoundly bored of all the positive attention,” said Nance via Zoom from her brownstone on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “I mean really, how many times can you hear people gush over the social and cultural importance of your work, call you an inspiration for generations of young writers, blah, blah, blah. Every time they name a library after you or hold a state banquet in your honour it’s always the same old song and dance. The tedium of it all is absolutely excruciating.”
Nance had nearly resigned herself to a fate of perpetual celebration as one of the world’s greatest living writers when she came to realize the incredible potential of social media for sabotaging her own legacy and despoiling the special place she has long held in the hearts of fans around the world.
Inspired by the incident last May in which celebrity chef and author Samantha Graves was disinvited from speaking at Birkenstock College for retweeting a “problematic” recipe for blackened chicken, Nance decided to get serious about securing her own cancellation. “When I saw that Samantha was able to free up a whole weekend at the push of a button, it got me thinking,” said Nance, “how many posts would it take for me never to get invited anywhere again?”
Unwilling to risk any possible future rehabilitation of her image, Nance immediately got to work following, liking, and retweeting the most toxic posts and personalities she could find on social media. The outcry was immediate and intense, and she was pleased to find herself trending on several platforms within a matter of hours. But even the best-laid plans, she found, could still go awry: “I honestly don’t know how it happened, but somehow I came out of this with two new book deals and a Substack earning $75,000 a month,” she said, clearly dispirited by her newfound popularity on the so-called Intellectual Dark Web, “but what can you do?”