Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tuesday Thoughts

What's Jack up to? He's having a grand time making the DH walk around the block numerous times for nothing. Oh, the joys of having a dog.

So I tried to watch the Oprah and Eckhart Tolle webcast class for A NEW EARTH, really, I did. What a time I had. My laptop kept freezing so I went downstairs to my desktop and was never able to get a picture there. All I ended up getting were broken sound bytes. I'll try today to see if I can watch the replay on Oprah.com. Did anyone get to watch?

I did get to watch The Royals special on abc last night. I thought it was pretty good. I love all that inner workings stuff. A really liked the coverage of Queen Elizabeth. It was great to see her feisty nature at her age. The woman is a powerful force.

So it's happened again. Another book is being pulled from the shelves because of charges that the supposed memoir is false. I've got some Deja Frey going on here.

The New York Times said, "In “Love and Consequences,” a critically acclaimed memoir published last week, Margaret B. Jones wrote about her 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. "

FYI. Margaret B Jones' real name is Margaret Seltzer. Seltzer now admits that it was all made up. What? How uncool is that? And I have to admit I'm a little mad that she choose to exploit what is largely a minority problem in this country. No, I wouldn't be as mad if she just called the book what it was, fiction. But mad I am.

Ms. Seltzer said, “For whatever reason, I was really torn and I thought it was my opportunity to put a voice to people who people don’t listen to,” Ms. Seltzer said. “I was in a position where at one point people said you should speak for us because nobody else is going to let us in to talk. Maybe it’s an ego thing — I don’t know. I just felt that there was good that I could do and there was no other way that someone would listen to it.” Really? I'm not buying it.

What a shame that in order to get a book deal authors feel they have to make-up life stories. Part of me feels like it's just awful that someone would lie like that and I wonder how come they couldn't write the same book, call it fiction and have it published. Well, I think the answer to that is that it would probably never be published. Everything nowadays needs a 'hook' and often times it's not just about the story, but about the personality behind the story. People (I guess myself included) want to gawk into other's lives.

Was this always the way? There is plenty of great fiction that reads like memoirs and have stood up over the years. Books like: Alice Walker's The Color Purple and one of my favorites Terry McMillan's Mama are examples.

What are your thoughts?


Quotes thanks to NYT Photos thanks to MSN search


keri mikulski :) said...

I agree.. One of the best things about a fiction book is to get into the story like you're are reading a memoir. When I read A Million Little Pieces, I felt that fiction or nonfiction, I still would have had the same reaction to it.

Missed the A NEW EARTH class. Darn. Keep me posted.

Have a great day!
Keri :)

pve design said...

Guess, we need to protect the rights of artists and writers because this will continue to happen. What sort of charges does a writer/agent face for doing that?
As hard as it might be to get published, that is just deep down dirty rotten no good in my book. That said, I did read-" A million little pieces" and was mad that it was not true.
A part of me felt that it could not have been all real.

Kwana said...

Hi Keri. I didn't read A Million Little pieces but that's teh raction I heard from lots foo people. The question is whould he have been published without the lie?

I'll let you know about A NEW EARTH class.

I know, Patricia. It's a tough call when it comes to art. But I do know fiction is fiction and lying is lying. I'm also so annoyed that she seemed to be so sterotypical in her writing. There is a "Big Mom and "Taye" and "Terrell" that just seems exploitive to me and gets under my skin.
I don't know all the consequences, but I do know they are pulling the book. I'm not sure if she will have to give back her advance or not. The other nutty thing in that it was her sister who turned her in.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

I didn't log on to Oprah's class yesterday. Sorry to hear that you had technical difficulties.

What is up with all of these fake authors?? It's not fair to authors who are honest with their memoirs, etc. It just shows the kind of world we live in.

Jacqueline said...

Came here via Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, where I arrived from several people's LJs. The best and bitterest comment I've heard is from a friend who is working on her own (heavily sourced, fact-checked-up-the-ass) memoir, "Gee, she did it all out of the goodness of her heart because she wanted to help these people? She wanted to give them a voice? So, did she also give them her advance?"

I can't believe her agent and editor were working with her on that thing for three years and it never occurred to them to double-check anything, not anything. Most of the fiction writers I know go through (and put themselves through) much more of a wringer over details that maybe three readers ever would even notice.

Manic Mom said...


Your thoughts are exactly mine. I'm feeling very slighted with the industry. They want a hook, they buy into a hook and it's not even a real hook. Blah.

Kwana said...

It's a real downer Brown Girl. Make you really question the industry.

Jacqueline, thanks for coming over from smart bitches. Yes, I'm sure she was not sharing her advance!And who made her the voice of the voiceless? It's crazy that her publisher didn't check on her.

Thanks Manic Mom. Totally Deja Frey. Hook Schmook! Annoying.

LondonCalling said...

Its so strange. Couldn't it have worked as a fiction novel in memoir format? Upfront, ect. If the writing is worthwhile you shouldn't need a hook that is a lie.

Kwana said...

I get what you're saying, London. That said it's so tough to get a book deal. I've been trying a long time. And sadly sometimes it's the sensational story that sells. That said, there are many really good editors that will pick up a book because the writing is great but they have an uphill climb to get it through.

All that still gives Jones no excuse. The lie was just too much and never should have been made.

nova said...

I have been listening to the Love and Consequences story on NPR for the last two days. I wish she had just pitched it as fiction so all of this could have been avoided. Fiction or non-fiction the tale is compelling, but now it's just going to be a footnote.

Kwana said...

Someone sent me the NPR show. I'll have to give it a listen. Although I will probaly be mad. It's a shame she could not just sell it as fiction.

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