I read this New York Times article last week - in the Home section, yet - about a woman known as Margaret B. Jones, whose memoir about growing up as a foster child on the drug-scarred streets of South Central LA was just published. The piece was full of interesting details, like the tattoo of a pit bull covering her back.
Turns out Jones (actually Seltzer) made the whole thing up. (Which, of course, made me wonder why I haven't yet written my own memoirs, in which I won't have to make up a thing. Then again, that's part of why I'm here.) So clearly, her home was a stage set of sorts, and I thought about just how credulous the writer of the Times article must have been.
But really, what got my attention was that Margaret's older sister saw that story and called the book's publishers to tell them the memoir was fabricated. I am the oldest of four girls, and I can't imagine making a point of destroying the dreams of any of my sisters. What terrible thing happened between the two of them to cause such bad blood?
And was the tattoo real?
The Gawker comments are, justifiably, crueler than any mean streets.