despite a student's recommendation, i never got around to reading margaret b. jones' gang memoir, love and consequences. as it turns out, the "refugee from gangland" appears to have made the whole thing up.
via the times:
In a sometimes tearful, often contrite telephone interview from her home on Monday, Ms. Seltzer, 33, who is known as Peggy, admitted that the personal story she told in the book was entirely fabricated. She insisted, though, that many of the details in the book were based on the experiences of close friends she had met over the years while working to reduce gang violence in Los Angeles.
“For whatever reason, I was really torn and I thought it was my opportunity to put a voice to people who people don’t listen to,” Ms. Seltzer said. “I was in a position where at one point people said you should speak for us because nobody else is going to let us in to talk. Maybe it’s an ego thing — I don’t know. I just felt that there was good that I could do and there was no other way that someone would listen to it.”
oh, i get it -- sort of a noble thing. one can't help but think of james frey, who fictionalized a good bit of his memoir a couple years ago. still, it bears repeating: there's nothing more pathetic than a pretend badass.