Well yet another memoir has been outed as a lie. Actually two personalized accounts have been revealed to be fiction in the past week. Marion B. Jones’ Love And Consequences about her life on the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles, actually grew up as Margaret Seltzer in a privileged Sherman Oaks, California neighborhood. Her publisher, Riverhead Books has pulled the tome from the shelves.
MISHA: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years by Misha Defonseca had been translated into 18 different languages. The story about a 7-year-old alone in the woods, cared for by wolves after her parents are arrested by the Nazi’s was simply the imaginary coping mechanism of a young girl. As the book was being readied for US publication a genealogical researcher found discrepancies. Big discrepancies like the fact that her name is Monique de Wael, she never lived in the woods and isn’t Jewish. Hell, who knows if she ever even owned a dog.
So if anyone out there is making up a memoir keep in mind that there’s this nifty thing called the Internet that allows people from all over the globe to gather information about one another. Tip two: If you do make up a memoir and it starts to sell and the media gets wind of you and Oprah calls, fess up right then and there. You will be busted. You will embarrass yourself and lose all credibility.
Considering how many published memoirs are fakes, imagine how many blogs out there are complete and utter bullshit. There must be thousands. Housewives pretending to be hookers, bankers living vicariously as gang bangers and truckers posing as teenagers. I’m guessing that the combination of skewed memories that change shape over time along with anonymity encourages many bloggers to take liberties with the truth or create complete fictional worlds all together.
Because most folks don’t even put their name on their blog (I don’t) it is very difficult to ensure that bloggers are telling the truth. In light of this, I thought I come right out and state that sadly – every stupid thing I’ve ever done and blogged about – is the truth. I’m really this uncool. I’m really this out of touch. I’m really this pathetic.
Go ahead and laugh. I can take it. But when I get my book deal someday and I’m invited to sit alongside Oprah herself – I’ll be safe. No being thrown into the James Frying pan for this blogger, let me tell you.
I understand that memories are subjective. In light of that, I wish that two great writers would write a joint memoir about their shared experiences. It would be so interesting to read the daughter’s account of her shitty childhood moment and then the mother’s account of what led up to the shitty moment. Now THAT would be an interesting read.
Due to the seemingly endless amount of fake memoirs out there, I’d like to take a moment and plug a few of the real ones that I’ve enjoyed:
- Night by Ellie Wiesel
- The Glass Castle by Janette Walls
- Encyclopedia Of An Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
- Find Me by Rosie O’Donnel
- Embraced by the Light by Bettie J. Eadie
What are yours?