Book News

Memoir 'Love and Consequences' Revealed as Fiction

Author Margaret B. Jones admits tale about growing up as a drug runner in South Central L.A. is pure fiction

(THE NEW YORK TIMES) — The book Love and Consequences, written under the pseudonym Margaret B. Jones and published last week by Riverhead Books, has been revealed by the New York Times as a fake. Jones' acclaimed account of growing up a half-white, half-Native American foster child in South Central Los Angeles and running drugs for the Bloods is entirely fabricated, the author herself (whose real name is Margaret Seltzer) admitted to the Times on Monday.

In truth, Seltzer, 33, is a white woman who grew up with her biological family in the affluent Sherman Oaks area of L.A. She attended private school, and never ran drugs for any gang members.

''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,'' Seltzer, who says she has worked in the past to reduce gang violence, told the Times. She said that her story reflects those of people she's met in her life. ''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.''

Seltzer's story came under suspicion last week, after the Times ran a profile and photo of the author (who currently lives in Eugene, Ore.) in its House & Home section. Her older sister called the Times to tell editors Seltzer's story was a lie.

Riverhead Books, a unit of Penguin Group USA, is recalling all copies of the book and has canceled Seltzer's book tour. ''There's a huge personal betrayal here as well as a professional one,'' her editor, Sarah McGrath, told the Times. (New York Times)

Originally posted Mar 04, 2008
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