www.inkthinkerblog.com — Do we need to review the difference between fiction and nonfiction here, people? Fiction is something that didn’t actually happen, whereas nonfiction is true or real. If you write a book that didn’t actually happen, it’s fiction. Please forward this memo to James Frey, Margaret Seltzer, Misha Defonseca, and Laura Albert, four people who clearly don’t get the difference between these two classes of writing.
Seltzer, who published the so-called memoir Love and Consequences under the pen name Margaret B. Jones, claimed to be a half-white, half-Native American foster kid who grew up in South Central amid gang bangers and drug dealers and survived against all odds. Great story, except that it’s not true. Sheesh, people. Shame on you, Ms. Seltzer, for misrepresenting yourself, and shame on Riverhead Books for not picking up the flipping telephone and doing a little background checking. After James Frey, there is no excuse! If something is being presented as a memoir, you’d better make darn sure there’s some iota of truth to it. Um, duh?
Read about it here:
- The New York Times Paper Cuts Blog – “Stranger than Truthiness”
- The New York Times Book Section – “Gang Memoir, Turning Page, Is Pure Fiction”
- The New York Times Book Section – “Tracking the Fallout of (Another) Literary Fraud”
- The Washington Post – “True or False: Book Publishers Can Avoid the Agony of Deceit”
- Words on the Page – “Faking It”
- Yahoo News – “Woman’s gang memoir is fake, recalled”
What do you think about this recent trend in presenting fiction as fact? Why aren’t these authors just submitting novels instead of coating their work with the patina of truth and becoming publicly humiliated big fat liars? I think there’s a difference between performing as a persona (think Larry the Cable Guy, who’s actually comedian and actor Daniel Lawrence Whitney) and pretending to be something you’re not. Do you agree or disagree?
Tags: freelance writing blog, freelance writing, writing, publishing industry scam, publishing industry scandal, memoir, fiction, fake memoir, margaret b. jones, love and consequence, james frey, misha defonseca, laura albert, gang memoir, memoir recalled, riverhead books
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