Friday, March 7, 2008

Don't Get Ganked...Again!!!

Since the literary scene has already been raped this week with the revelation that the memoir "Love and Consequences: A Memoir of Hope and Survival" by Margaret B. Jones aka "I'm A Big Azz Liar" Peggy Seltzer is a bunch of horse shit, I just want to give a tip to those who want to read the book anyway.

After blogging about it and reading about it, I decided that I want to get my hands on the memoir...oh, my bad, novel...and read it.

My first instinct was to go to Guess what? Some copies that are listed there are already being priced at at least three times the cover price. Now some are up for auction, but these auctions don't close for five or so days. Who wants to bet the price is going to spiral up?

It's all about supply and demand. However, there is no way in hell I'm paying that amount to read this book. I went to where there were at least three copies listed at around $16.00 per copy. My tip: if you want to read it, go there first.

Move fast...!

If eBay gets too out of control price wise, I'm tempted to scan the whole thing and upload it once I get my copy. We'll see how I feel once I get it.

My curiosity stems from stuff like an non-existent intersection where some of the fictional drug deals happened and other details like that. Since this story is set in the area where I grew up, I just want to see how authentic is feels because there are some people seriously arguing that it's okay that they were fooled or asking does it matter that people were fooled.

No, it's not okay and, yes, it does matter.

The fact that people were fooled means Seltzer is a good novelist. From that perspective, it's a shame she lied as it's wasted talent. However, her lie completely disenfranchises people who have really lived that life.

Understand the difference, please.

Links to more sources and new developments will stay in my original blog, Memoirs and Street Cred.


Update 1: March 8, 2008 @ 8:35pm

Okay, I went to the eBay page again and that buzz I anticipated doesn't seem to exist...yeah! One book is priced at just under $11.00 and there is just a day and a few hours left. I'm glad to see people AREN'T bidding like mad, spiraling the price up for this book and taking people up on their overpriced "buy it now" offers on eBay.


Update 2: March 11, 2008 @ 9:47am

I didn't get around to posting this because I just found it today. This is the first chapter of the book. Maybe I will go ahead and sell my copy on eBay when I get it. This is melodramatic crap.

A white girl with braids dealing drugs in South Central L.A.? Good grief. How did the publisher believe this crap for longer than the second it takes to read it?

In South Central, the myth of human kindness and compassion ends and self-preservation is the ruling principle. At the end of the day what you know and have seen is no one's business but your own. It's a cold game, but what you know can kill you just as fast as what you don't. Snitches and rats dig their own graves.
Yeah, 'cause she knows it so well.

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  1. Lol at ExpatJane yeah those are the novels but i have one for you I think you will enjoy. I've been hearing great things about this novel called A Person of Interest by Susan Choi. You can check it out and from the reviews you won't be disappointed.

  2. Yeah, well, the who scandal are this fake memoir and the details in it make it worth digging up. Now that my copy is on order, I'm set to talk shit about this scandal for weeks ;)

    As for Susan Choi, I read "The Foreign Student" by her back in 2001. I read the recent article they wrote about her in the Chosun Ilbo too. Thanks for recommending her new book. It's one I'll have to get around to reading.

    Right now however, I've got my favorite in the background, John Mayer. And, after that, I'll be watching Napoleon Dynamite from my iPod (God do I love iTunes these days.)

  3. Hi Jane
    I published a satirical piece over on blog critics and now it's on mine.

    Well, Michiko Kukatani gave her a rave review. SO it must mean she writes compellingly. She fooled Kukatani, her editor, agent and those in publishing but I have to wonder --would she have fooled you? I listened to her 35 minute interview on NPR, and I sensed that the interviewer that even she might have thought something didn't add up. I think they might've pulled it, so today I put in a different link.

    I have to wonder as others did --why not submit it as fiction? Why bother to take on the persona of someone you're not? How much fun can it be to have a book you've written come out and not be able to share this success with your friends? I think the answer is that the author is one talented but messed up woman!

  4. And yes, I agree. Publishing it under the guise of a memoir, going onto radio shows and talking as Margaret, completely and utterly disenfranchises the people who have lived the experience, furthermore, it shows callous disregard on her part.

    I hope in my piece that I've managed to make her sound like an opportunistic twit.

  5. I don't think she could get a book deal, writing as a white woman about African-American lives. But judging by her MySpace page-- somewhere, she met up with some gangster. How did she meet MaddRonald, aka Ronald Chatman?

    I think she knew these guys, heard their stories (Chatman's version of cooking rock is close to hers) and wrote them down. Were they all in on the scam? DId she tell these guys she was half-Indian?

    If she was raising pit bulls and selling them down in LA, did she have some other street connections after Chatman was incarcerated?

    She might have been a hanger-on.

  6. Well, I claim no authority in the line of what gets signed and what doesn't in the publishing industry.

    All I'm saying is, if her personal story is true: white girl from Sherman Oaks learns first-hand about the tough urban life 45 minutes away, maybe that COULD have been sold as a memoir. That has less reach and less punch for sure.

    As a novelist, I still say maybe. As someone who'd possibly have a rep as knowing a bit about the lifestyle maybe she could (yes, maybe an editor would block her). I think she'd most definitely have to be an established writer first. Hence, the pitch the "white girl gets schooled" angle or something similar, get in, get writer's cred and then write.

    It just seems that she chose the easy route, to lie. If she can't get signed as a white woman writing about the black experience, that sucks.

    But there have been a fair amount of comments left about a Latina who can't get a book deal because there isn't enough violence in her urban tale, a biracial woman who can't get a play done on the stage because she's not ethnic enough for either side of her heritages, and a Cambodian man who just wants to write sci-fi without adopting an Anglo sounding pen name.

    It sucks for all of them. At least the others don't have reps now as someone who'll lie to get book deal.

  7. Yes, she could have gotten a book deal.
    If the story was compelling, if it were well written, an agent would have jumped at it if she thought it had commercial viability.

    Remember, that's all an agent cares about. It's all she's supposed to care about --finding a potential moneymaker amid the pile of submissions.

    Fiction IS a much harder sell. But then, one must never use the difficulty of getting a novel sold, for crossing over and making it into a memoir. Michiko Kakutani never said anything about the quality of the writing. So I have to assume, it could have been a novel as well.


  8. What this case is doing, at least, is opening up a dialogue on the perceptions of what can and what can't get signed. It's also putting the feet of the publishing gate keepers to the virtual flames.

    It still cracks me up that you have pictures of Seltzer sitting there with a "red rag" waving colors. That actually sends chills down my spine because I remember riding my bike once and I just happened to have on something red, either a shirt or shorts. I lived in the Crips, "blue rag", neighborhood. Some silly girls spotted me and tore after me for having the wrong color on. I'm glad I could pedal fast. Having her posing with a red rag like it's no big thing is insulting.

    After I got through pretty much the most prestigious public university in L.A. and one of the top in the country, to read her saying that in university she "learned big words for stuff I already knew” is damn insulting.

    I'm always trying to push education not only blacks but anyone who'll listen as a way to open up doors and alternative possibilities. For her to claim that she was merely learning vocabulary words, is a crock of shit. She doesn't even have a university degree! (How hard would it have been for the publisher to ask for transcripts?!!!) Why not just say that university is really just an over-priced four year vocabulary class? People already have to fight that kind of negative thinking when it comes to trying to encourage others to pursue higher education. Yet she's spinning this mess and telling it as if it's truth.

    She's a great story teller. That's completely clear. I'm so glad she got ratted out before it went any further.


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