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Literary Fraud: Margaret Seltzer

Read the New York Times: Lies and Consequences: Tracking the Fallout of (Another) Literary Fraud By MOTOKO RICH

One day after the author of “Love and Consequences” confessed that she had made up the memoir about her supposed life as a foster child in gang-infested South-Central Los Angeles, the focus turned to her publisher and the credulous news organizations that helped publicize what appeared to be a searing autobiography.

Geoffrey Kloske, publisher of Riverhead Books, the unit of Penguin Group USA that released the book, by Margaret Seltzer, under a pseudonym, Margaret B. Jones, said on Tuesday that there was nothing else that he or Sarah McGrath, the book’s editor, could have done to prevent the author from lying.

“In hindsight we can second-guess all day things we could have looked for or found,” Mr. Kloske said. “The fact is that the author went to extraordinary lengths: she provided people who acted as her foster siblings. There was a professor who vouched for her work, and a writer who had written about her that seemed to corroborate her story.” He added that Ms. Seltzer had signed a contract in which she had legally promised to tell the truth. “The one thing we wish,” Mr. Kloske said, “is that the author had told us the truth.”

Follow the sad saga on Gawker.

And finally, read Margaret’s Penguin Group interview that would have been part of her media package for the book tour.

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