An English professor and literary detective describes his work in the field of literary forensics, explaining how his study of the use of language can help determine the writer behind a variety of anonymous documents, and discusses his successful efforts to identify the author of Primary Colors and his contributions to several high-profile criminal cases. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.
From the professor with an extraordinary gift for unmasking the authors of anonymous documents comes the inside story of how he solves his most challenging cases.In Author Unknown, Don Foster reveals a starling fact: since no two people use language in precisely the same way, our identities are encoded in our own language, a kind of literary DNA. Combining traditional scholarship with modern technology, Foster has discovered how to unlock that code and, in the process, has invented an entire field of investigation--literary forensics--by which it becomes possible to catch anonymous authors as they ultimately betray their identities with their own words.Foster's unique skills first came to light when a front-page New York Times article announced his discovery that a previously unattributed poem was written by Shakespeare. A few weeks later, Foster solved the mystery that had obsessed America for months when he identified Joe Klein as the author of Primary Colors. Foster also took on the case of an oddball California bag lady who many believed to be the elusive Thomas Pynchon. His contributions to the Unabomber case takes us inside the tangled mind of Ted Kaczynski. And, in the final chapter, Foster makes a surprising-and heartening-discovery about a beloved holiday icon. As entertaining as it is eye opening, Author Unknown shows us how Don Foster uses his unusual methods to search out the hidden identities behind anonymous documents of all kinds. Anyone who reads this remarkable book will find it impossible to read-or write-in the same way as before.