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The 23/6 Fake Memoir-o-Tron

First Posted: 03/28/08 03:46 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 01:25 PM ET


It was revealed this week that the critically acclaimed memoir "Love and Consequences," the story of a young mixed-race girl who grew up in poverty under foster care to become a gang member on the mean streets of South Central L.A., was in fact written by a white woman raised in the considerably less mean cul-de-sacs of affluent Sherman Oaks by her own biological, non-gangsta, parents. Fake memoirist Margaret Seltzer (under the ingenious pseudonym "Margaret Jones") was exposed by her older sister, obviously jealous of the younger sibling's impending, though dubious, success. Further proof of Margaret's fraudulent street cred: failure to "waste" her sister for "snitchin'."

Following hard on the heels of the exposure of Misha Defonsecas' falsified "Misha: Memoire of the Holocaust Years" and coming only two years after James Frey's Oprah-duping "A Million Little Pieces," it's surprising publishers are still taken in by this scam. Until publishers start demanding that would-be memoirists wear webcams to verify the acts of depravity and humiliation they document, those who feel an irresistible the desire to tell the world their story--or rather, a story--can do so with the 23/6 Memoir-o-Tron.

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Filed by Nicholas Sabloff  |