Also, Hemingway Was a Vegetarian

The thrilling new bloodsport of Memoir Debunking got another boost in popularity last week with news that fellow Oregonian Margaret Seltzer is not quite the recovering gangsta that her heretofore hotselling memoir “Love and Consequences” made her out to be.

The fact that a resident of Eugene, OR (Motto: Hemp Goes with Everything) managed to pass herself off as a Crip from South Central is a feat of literary ventriloquism that probably deserves some credit, were it not for the fact that the standards of literary quality for the memoir genre are already so low.

I don’t hold with those who say the publishers should be doing more fact-checking; the economics of book publishing simply don’t allow for it. But it would be nice if the fallout from all this memoir fakery was that publishers became more wary of this substandard stuff and public tastes turned more toward fiction. Real fiction, that is.

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