Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Truth to tell...

From Shelf Awareness, 3/4/08:

Notes: More Faux Memoires; Wordsmiths Squared; Quick Reads
This season's A Million Little Pieces: Margaret B. Jones, the author of Love and Consequences, a memoir of growing up half-white, half-Native American in South-Central Los Angeles as a foster child and joining the gang world, is actually, the New York Times reported, "Margaret Seltzer, who is all white and grew up in well-to-do Sherman Oaks, in the San Fernando Valley of California, with her biological family. She graduated from the Campbell Hall School, a private Episcopal day school in North Hollywood. She has never lived with a foster family, nor did she run drugs for any gang members. Nor did she graduate from the University of Oregon, as she had claimed." So much for truthiness.

Publisher Riverhead is recalling all copies of the book, published last week, and has cancelled the author's tour.

Only last week, Misha Defonseca, who wrote Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years, published here in 1997, confessed that rather than having been a small Jewish girl who moved around Europe living with wolves during World War II, "she is not Jewish and spent the war safely in Brussels," according to the Boson Globe."


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My question is, why don't they just call them novels instead of memoirs and have done with it? Maybe there's some psychological/pathological reason for it. I love fiction and historical fiction, crime novels, etc. Maybe these stories they invented aren't well crafted? Maybe the authors don't like fiction? Maybe no one ever told them about the truth to be found in fiction.

How sad.

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