Truth or Consequences
Posted on Mar 3, 2008
By Steve Wasserman
We got snookered. Motoko Rich of The New York Times reports in her article posted March 4 that the just-published “memoir” by Margaret B. Jones, called “Love and Consequences,” about Jones’ “life as a half-white, half-Native American girl growing up in South-Central Los Angeles as a foster child among gang-bangers, running drugs for the Bloods,” is a fabrication.
Even the author’s name is a fake. “Jones” is apparently one Margaret Seltzer, who, according to Rich, “is all white and grew up in the well-to-do Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley, with her biological family.”
Riverhead Books is recalling all copies of the book and has canceled the author’s book tour.
Reviewers such as the Times’ chief literary critic, Michiko Kakutani, have praised the book, as did our reviewer, Yxta Maya Murray, a distinguished novelist and keen observer of L.A.‘s Lower Depths.
Oscar Wilde is said to have remarked that one should never let the facts get in the way of a good story. The author of “Love and Consequences” was apparently loyal to this dubious principle and to nothing else.
The gig is up: Margaret Seltzer’s real name and background were revealed in The New York Times’ March 4 edition.