- Emily St. John Mandel said getting interviewed was the only way to update her relationship on Wikipedia.
- The author wanted to update her page to say she is divorced, and needed to cite a published article.
- After being interviewed by Slate, Mandel was able to update her page to say she’s not married.
The author of the post-apocalyptic book “Station Eleven” recently found herself in an unusual dilemma. But like any good novelist, she figured out a way to write her way out of it, thanks to some extra help from the internet.
Emily St. John Mandel, seeking a way to update her Wikipedia page to say that she was no longer married, took to Twitter to say the only way to update a Wikipedia page after a divorce was to cite an interview where the subject confirmed as much .
—Emily St. J. Mandel (@EmilyMandel) December 17, 2022
“So anyway all I want for Christmas is for a journalist writing a story for publication (online-only is fine!) to ask me if I’m still married,” she tweeted.
Two hours later, Mandel was granted her Christmas wish.
In an email interview with Dan Kois at Slate Magazine titled, “A Totally Normal Interview With Author Emily St. John Mandel,” she was able to set the record straight that she is divorced from her ex-husband, playwright Kevin Mandel, and has a girlfriend now.
“So, are you married these days?” Koi asked. “No,” she responded.
Mandel said her marriage ended during the first week of April, and she’s spent the rest of the year in divorce settlement negotiations, receiving a judgment of divorce in November.
Insider reached out to Mandel via her publisher and over Instagram in an attempt to get further comment, but did not immediately hear back ahead of publication.
“In most cases, self-published sources (e.g. a personal website, blog, etc.) are not considered reliable because there isn’t a standard of fact-checking that’s applied as there would be through other sources, for example a peer -reviewed journal or a publication known for fact-checking and issuing corrections,” a spokesperson for Wikipedia operator Wikimedia told Insider.
“There are some cases, however, where a self-published source is acceptable when the information is specifically about the individual themselves and is not related to a contentious or exceptional claim,” they added. “This could include, for example, a social media post by an individual from a verified account. In this case, that’s what a volunteer editor used to originally verify the marital status of Emily St. Mandel. The article was later updated to include a reference to the recently published interview in Slate. Volunteers are continuing to discuss how relevant policies were and should be applied.”
Mandel talked to Kois about her dilemma with Wikipedia, saying that an editor for the site told her she “needed a comparable citation” to her 2012 Publishers Weekly interview where she mentioned she was married.
“So my Wikipedia entry was essentially a time capsule,” she told Kois. “It bothered me that it was no longer accurate, but also it was kind of awkward for my girlfriend. I didn’t love that if her friends looked me up, they’d think she was dating a married woman.”
She said she turned to Twitter because she thought it would be hard for her publicists to pitch a story about her to journalists and have anything publish before Christmas.
“I’m so grateful for the response,” Mandel said. “It means a lot that people responded so quickly.”
Now, from Wikipedia page says Mandel, “has a daughter with former husband Kevin Mandel,” and that she has a girlfriend.
has almond written six novelsincluding “Sea of Tranquility” and “Station Eleven,” which was developed into a miniseries on HBO Max. Her book “The Glass Hotel” was listed as one of former president Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2020.