Margaret B. Jones = big lying liar. Not a foster kid, didn’t grow up in South Central, didn’t deliver drugs, didn’t even graduate from U of Oregon. Oh the humanity. But she once met some gang types.

She’s really Campbell Hall grad Peggy Seltzer. Campbell Hall is the Olson Twins’ alma mater. And her sister ratted her out:

Ms. Seltzer’s story started unraveling last Thursday after she was profiled in the House & Home section of The New York Times. The article appeared alongside a photograph of Ms. Seltzer and her 8-year-old daughter, Rya. Ms. Seltzer’s older sister, Cyndi Hoffman, saw the article and called Riverhead to tell editors that Ms. Seltzer’s story was untrue.

Peggy Seltzer is thanked in the forward of Inga Muscio’s Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil: My Life and Times in a Racist, Imperialist Society:

Peggy Seltzer, my platonic soulmate. I thank you for inviting me into your heart, for giving me books and music and laughter when I didn’t feel like there were any words or songs or happiness.

Her website lists the book as forthcoming No Child Left Behind: A South Sentral Story by Peggy Seltzer.

Muscio was introduced to Seltzer through a professor, and then set her up with her literary agent, Faye Bender, who got the book accepted by Sarah McGrath, then at Scribner, a unit of Simon & Schuster. When McGrath (whose father was editor of the New York Times Book Review) moved to Riverhead, the book and author went with her. (Yes, Riverhead was James Frey’s publisher. So, they’re stupid trusting.)

All this begs the question–who knew that the book was fiction and when did they know it? Did it not look salable as fiction and was repackaged as a memoir?

Riverhead/Penguin’s recalling the book.

And Peggy Seltzer–could be a different one–is also thanked in another book by an Oregon prof, Gordon Sayre in The Indian Chief as Tragic Hero: Native Resistance and the Literatures of Literatures of America, from Moctezuma to Tecumseh:

and Peggy Seltzer of the Quinault nation alerted me to the annual ride of the Sioux and inspired my teaching of Native American literature at Oregon.

What a busy girl.

Margaret B. Jones: South Central Memoirist