More On Fake Memoirs

The academic who put Maragaret Seltzer on weighs in here. The piece is pretty silly and towards the end takes to arguing in favor of a blurry line between memoir and fiction based on precedent (Memoir writers have been faking it for centuries!). Except by that token why don't we bring back witch-hunts, slavery and betamax. Anyway, dude just seems to be defending himself and his old student, and I was willing to let him go on that. And then he went and said this:

The New York Times reported that because “Ms. Seltzer told (Times reporter Mimi) Read that her foster siblings were dead, in prison or no longer in touch, it was difficult for Ms. Read to find people to interview.”

The real scandal is that, given the predicament of African-American men in Los Angeles, the claim is plausible, not that the agent and publisher accepted it.

No it isn't. Neither the reporter, nor the editor should have accepted the "no longer in touch" fudge. That should have been a tip off. It's the reporters job to get names and go and track those people down. Dude then continues with this.

To discredit “Love and Consequences,” in which Seltzer writes, “We used to say that South Central was separate from the luxury of America — it was an urban Third World” allows Americans the luxury of continuing to ignore the problems the book represents, or at best of waiting for another voice to bring it to our attention.

Right, uhm, because John Singleton never made Boyz In The Hood. Because Menace II Society never hit. Because NWA never existed. In fact gangsta rap never existed. Dude get out the Ivory Tower and get a F--ing clue.