Gang Memoir Exposed as Fiction

Author of Love and Consequences fesses up to fabricating
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2008 7:50 AM CST
Author Margaret Jones - real name Margaret Seltzer - has admitted that 'Love and Consequences' isn't a true story but insists that the details of the book are the true experiences of her friends.   ((c) Bonard)
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(Newser) – Margaret Jones' acclaimed memoir of a half-Native American girl growing up in a foster home in South Central LA and running with gangs, Love and Consequences, turns out to be fiction, the New York Times reports. Jones, whose real name is Seltzer, grew up with her birth parents in an affluent LA neighborhood; she was busted when her sister spotted her photo in a Times feature about the book and called her publisher.

Seltzer told the Times in a tearful interview that the book was based on experiences of people she met working to reduce gang violence in LA, and that she fabricated the memoir to tell their stories. "I just felt that there was good that I could do and there was no other way that someone would listen to it.” Her publisher, Riverhead, has recalled the book and canceled a book tour. "There’s a huge personal betrayal here as well as a professional one,” said Jones' disappointed editor.