O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

Margaret B. Jones and the Consequences

There’s another literary scandal unfolding, and this one’s pretty juicy, to mix a delicious metaphor. Margaret B. Jones just released a harrowing memoir called Love and Consequences. It’s about how she, a half-white, half-Native American, ended up in a foster family in south L.A. — where she joined the Bloods, sold drugs, lived the life of a street thug and somehow survived enough to write a gripping and acclaimed book about it.

Turns out it was all fake. Margaret B. Jones doesn’t exist and never existed. She’s actually a white woman named Margaret Seltzer. Little Margaret grew up with her biological family in a nicer part of L.A. and now lives in Eugene, Oregon, which is not exactly a haven for street gangs. Margaret’s own sister uncovered the whole scam when she saw a profile of “Jones” — complete with a photo of Seltzer — which discussed the book and the author’s hard life.


Only her life wasn’t that hard after all, and the sister got in touch with Riverview Press, the publisher of Love and Consequences, and told them the whole thing was made-up. Riverview canceled a book tour (slated to begin today in Eugene) and yanked the title off the shelves.

According to Jones/Seltzer’s apology, she was an activist and wanted to tell the story of these young gang kids, and “there was no other way that someone would listen to it.”

This is flat-out crazy. My big questions: How did Seltzer not think she’d be found out? How was she so successful in fleecing Riverview? How did she fool her agent? And why not just write a book of fiction anyway?


Writing a memoir is hard. Anytime you’re writing about something that happened in your childhood it’s going to be difficult to accurately recall every little conversation and detail. I don’t know of any children who walk around taking notes on their lives in order to have something to reference when they’re writing a book 20 years in the future. So I have some sympathy for memoirists who’ve been accused of playing too loose with the facts.

But to make the whole thing up and not think anyone’s gonna find out? To plan a book tour in Eugene, Oregon — where you live — and think you’re going to read from your memoir as Margaret B. Jones and hope no one who actually knows you shows up and wonders why that Seltzer lady is pretending to have been a gangbanger? How exactly is that supposed to work?


That’s so delusional it’s hard to comprehend.

Love and Consequences is ranking pretty high on Amazon right now, but the “it’s all fake” reviewers are beginning to pour in.

Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting O Me Of Little Faith. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent ...

posted 2:25:22pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Farewell, O Me of Little Faith
You said you had a big announcement coming today. What is it? The announcement is this: Right now you are reading the final post on this blog. Ever. Ever? Ever. So you're shutting this blog down? Well, I'm going to stop writing ...

posted 6:11:49am Jun. 01, 2011 | read full post »

My Introvert Interview
On Monday, author Adam McHugh delivered a guest post about the "snarling 8-headed monster" of the writing process. Today I return the favor -- sort of -- via an interview at his blog, Introverted Church. We talk about how my introverted ...

posted 3:05:36pm May. 25, 2011 | read full post »

Harold Camping: "Invisible Judgment Day"
When the rapture didn't occur as predicted on May 21, 2011, Harold Camping had a few options. Here is how he could have responded to the failed prediction, in descending levels of crazy: 1. He could announce that he was wrong. This is the ...

posted 9:06:24am May. 24, 2011 | read full post »

The Phases of Writing (Adam McHugh)
If you've ever felt out of place among all the exciting, expressive, emotional enthusiasm of a contemporary church service...or an evangelist's demands that you need to constantly be sharing your faith boldly to strangers...if it simply wipes ...

posted 7:46:00am May. 23, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.