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Another fake author

The book "Love and Consequences" has been recalled by the publisher, as although it was thought to be a biography, it turns out to actually be a complete fabrication, apparently based on the authors work in a gang outreach programme. It's the second book in a short time to be shown to actually be fiction, having initially been sold as non-fiction.

It seems a bit strange to me that these authors felt that their story would be better accepted if it was claimed to be the truth, rather than if it was fiction. I mean, a four year old girl travelling across Europe during WWII in the company of a pack of wolves isn't exactly a standard life story - surely it's more believable as fiction, than as truth anyway? A terrible childhood, difficult fostering, drug running for gangs, murder...again, (thankfully) not a normal story, but surely better as a fictional tale than as trying to claim it as true? Is that all publishers want from authors now - shocking, true-life stories, with a competition to see which can be the most gruesome / shocking?

And why did it need recalled? Will it never see the light of day again? Or will it be reprinted, with a new author blurb and jacket, and use the publicity from this recall of a previously-unknown book to flood the shops? The Belgian book won't suffer - as it's already been made into a film, the publicity caused by the book being revealed as fiction will probably have helped it, especially outside the country. After all, can you name any other Belgian films?!?

Anyway, since it's caused such a fuss, I've decided to see if I can get a hold of a copy of "Love and Consequences" As it's still for sale on Amazon, I've bought a copy. The chances of it actually getting to me before the recall information filters through are pretty slim, but I thought it would be fun to try!

Comments

Abigail said…
The lack of fact checking on the part of the publishing house is troublesome but I can't figure out why an author would try this? When does it become okay in your mind to completely reinvent your own history so you can make it a bestseller and earn sympathy. And the apologies make one CRINGE--"I just got caught up in the story." All the way through publishing?

It makes a reader hesitant to believe memoirs and undermines the careful work of those who have lived unusual lives from whom we can learn.
< / end rant>

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