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Woman Dupes Publisher to Publish Fake Memoires!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I think she should be made to give back the money.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/04/arts/04fake.php?page=1
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
I think she should be made to give back the money.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/04/arts/04fake.php?page=1
I've read about this all day, and I have to say I don't understand why she didn't publish it as a work of fiction in the first place. If the book was compelling enough it would have been published. It's an author's job to grab the reader and immerse them in a world. Having read reviews of the book she's quite capable of doing that.

I also agree with you, she should give the money back to the publisher.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
I've read about this all day, and I have to say I don't understand why she didn't publish it as a work of fiction in the first place. If the book was compelling enough it would have been published. It's an author's job to grab the reader and immerse them in a world. Having read reviews of the book she's quite capable of doing that.

I also agree with you, she should give the money back to the publisher.


My thoughts exactly. What purpose are authors doing by claiming its their "personal" experience when its not.

Makes me wonder how many other autobiographies I have read were made up.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post


My thoughts exactly. What purpose are authors doing by claiming its their "personal" experience when its not.

Makes me wonder how many other autobiographies I have read were made up.
Most likely very few. The vast majority of the famous autobiographies that you've read are collaborative efforts between a subject and an author. The author usually does research, and is able to ask questions to the subject that get them to open up. In a way, autobiographies are like extended Barbra Walter's interviews, but with better structure.

Now the new crop of memoirs that are coming out are slightly different. Memoirs are almost always embellished in some way shape or form by the author, so that's something the audience has to take into account when reading it, but it doesn't mean that it's entirely made up.
post #5 of 10
She didn't even cover her tracks well. Said she graduated from U of O (or was it Oregon State?). That is easy enough to check. Sure enough, she didn't.
post #6 of 10
must be good if it selling. Just change it to fiction. see if it keeps selling?
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
I saw another article. This is even more devious than just her having lied about her story being fact instead of fiction.

This article reports that the publisher has released a statement which claims that Seltzer introduced several people to her literary agent -- people who lied about being her foster siblings.


http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2008-03-04-memoir-hoax_N.htm


She went well beyond just telling a few 'little white lies' in the altruistic interest of "giving a voice to the voiceless".

The books that were being shipped to stores have been recalled as well.

I personally think the publisher should pursue a lawsuit to recover the money they paid her. What she did was blatent, premeditated fraud!
post #8 of 10
A good book is a good book. As Tim O'Brien has pointed out time and time again, sometimes a lie is truer than the truth (when it comes to lit).

It sounds a lot like the Million Little Pieces / Frey thing, where it was proven his memoir was faked. It is still well-written, it is still true in the loosest sense of the word- it rings true, it gets at things that are real, if not for that person then for someone else.

And what about JT Leroy? She pretended to be a different gender, went so far as to hire a person to pretend to be JT in public, and kept up this charade for a loooong time. Now she says it's still all true, just for one of her personalities, and that she has dissociative identity disorder.

The only way I'd have a problem with it is if the author met someone and hear their story and then wrote the book and essentially 'stole' it.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
So you think it's ok that she committed fraud and took tens of thousands of dollars from a publisher who took her on good faith based on her own story and the fact that she produced people to back up her story: people she probably paid to lie for her?
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
So you think it's ok that she committed fraud and took tens of thousands of dollars from a publisher who took her on good faith based on her own story and the fact that she produced people to back up her story: people she probably paid to lie for her?
I think that the fact that it's a lie does not necessarily lessen the literary worth of the book. Whether it's ethical or not, once a book is published it exists outside of the author.

Suing her for breach of contract, yes. Recalling her book and not letting anyone read it, no.
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