Motoko Rich owns the Peggy Seltzer story, and don’t even think of nabbing a tiny bit of it.
Rich writes about the deep thinking that went on at Riverhead. They all knew about the author’s various names:
Ms. Seltzer told her editor and her publisher that she wanted to use the pseudonym because it was the name she was known by in the gang world and because she was trying to reconnect with her birth mother and felt that using her real name would complicate this effort.
And you know what those gangbanger book clubs are like! Publishing windfall.
Sarah McGrath was snowed by a letter of recommendation:
(She)…had provided what she said were photographs of her foster siblings, a letter from a gang leader corroborating her story and had introduced her agent, Faye Bender, to a person who claimed to be a foster sister.
Was it the Mrs. John L. Strong stationery that impressed her or the elegant turn of phrase?
Poor freelancer Mimi Read–she got stuck with the trip to Eugene and the pit-bull meet up.
Ira Silverberg, JT LeRoy’s agent, chimes in:
It is not an industry capable of checking every last detail.
Silverberg couldn’t check even one detail–the actual existence of his author.
ExPat Jane doesn’t mince her words:
You gotta have Chip or Becky struggling with the gang bangers and crack heads in the ghetto instead of whiling away in the suburbs to make it worth signing.
Yxta Maya Murray is so proud of herself for believing every single word. Oh good grief.
And NPR didn’t air Seltzer’s interview with Michel Martin on Tell Me More. And guess what–she doesn’t sound the same as she did in the Boston interview–she’s also all worried about sounding “racist”. That’s the least of her worries.
She also claims that people in Eugene, Oregon think she looks “ethnic” and approach her in the supermarket. Su-u-u-re they do.
Michael Goldstein explains why writers lie.
Kate Taylor explains why fact checking is so expensive.
GalleyCat has the publishing world covered and he’s our own lil’ homeskillet, yo.