lesbiassparrow: (Affronted by meganbmoore)
So here is an account of what Ms. Lying Liar's (aka the girl from the valley who wrote that 'memoir' about her life in the 'hood) publishers and editors did to check on her story: a bunch of people talk about how they can't believe that people make stories up even though they also publish fiction.

The answer to what they did is - basically, nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Naught. They couldn't even bother to ask an unpaid intern to google anything 'for valuable job experience.'

The quotes are hilarious:

"'The one thing we wish,” Mr. Kloske said, “is that the author had told us the truth.'" (No! Why would you say that?)

"Ms. McGrath, who never met Ms. Seltzer during three years spent editing the book, said Ms. Seltzer, who lives in Eugene, Ore., had provided what she said were photographs of her foster siblings, a letter from a gang leader corroborating her story and had introduced her agent, Faye Bender, to a person who claimed to be a foster sister." (There aren't enough exclamation points in the world for this one. Because pictures and letters one could write oneself and a second hand sighting - that's research gold in the publishing world.)

"'In the post-James Frey world, we all are more careful,” Ms. McGrath said. “I had numerous conversations with her about the need to be honest and the need to stick to the facts.'" (Numerous conversations. Yes, that is always the way I check facts. Because, you know, people are always honest with you. Especially when there is money involved.)

"'It is not an industry capable of checking every last detail,” said Ira Silverberg, an agent who represented J T LeRoy (without knowing he was actually Ms. Albert)" (To comment would be to ruin the pure beauty of that line)

Where were these people raised? What life have they lived until now that they are so full of the trust and the believing? Do they never watch the news? Have they never heard of James Frey, despite the fact that they published him? I want to work there because they'd never question any ludicrous reason you had for not turning up for work when you were hungover on Monday and then I would sell them my map to Atlantis. Because a nice girl like me would never lie. Not ever. I can give you a letter I wrote to prove that.

And astonishing no one (except her publishers who can't believe that people they thought were nice lie): her foundation turns out to be a fake.

I keep reading that publishers don't have the money to fact check? Honestly? Really? You can't afford the minimal time and money it would take to even google some of this stuff? Or even one of those internet services that cost bugger all? It's not like you're being asked to do the labours of Hercules: I suspect $150 would do it. Even less if you foist it off one some unpaid intern. They'd probably thank you! (See above re: 'valuable job experience.')
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Via [livejournal.com profile] cbackson, the story of a white, private school attending, valley girl who wrote a memoir of her years in the 'hood. Strongly based on that one time she totally drove through South Central and realized that there were poor people, yo!

Here's the entry in the NY Times that had her sister calling that paper to reveal the truth. But reading that one wonders how on earth they didn't work it out for themselves and how she conned the editors of her publishing house* for more than 5 minutes. I know that I have the advantage of knowing that this is a fake while reading it but it reads like a bunch of crap. Plus notice The Times' writer's desire to to point out on page 2 that although the author is white she has many pictures of black people which clearly proves something or other.

Ah, the rich: co-opting the stories of the poor since first mankind learned to make money by writing. And I am sure the fact that she was a photogenic white girl had nothing to do with the publisher's decision to publish. None at all.

Sample Quotes:

"Unlike several other recent gang memoirs, all written by men, Ms. Jones’s story is told from a nurturer’s point of view. Along with grit and blood, every chapter describes tenderness and love between people as well as the rites and details of domestic life."

"She came up with her down payment by cashing in Starbucks stock options, she said"

"A shelf above her desk holds an altar of family snapshots, with many more black faces than white."

*One suspects because they are likely to also be white and private school educated and thus have no idea of what the reality might be like. But you'd think then that they'd have the sense to check the story out. I bet you could google this and still come up with the truth.

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lesbiassparrow

August 2011

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