Friday, May 13, 2011

Memoir controversies



Memoir controversies
Memoir controversies. Controversial can equal bestseller, but not all controversy is good for sales. In the latest fallout, author of “Three Cups of Tea,” Greg Mortenson, whose bestselling memoir has been called into question. Mortenson, who defends his book, has been sued by residents in his hometown. We review other memoirs where facts turned out to be fiction.

‘A Million Little Pieces’

This famous book club made James Frey’s addiction memoir, “A Million Little Pieces”, a bestseller. However, this on-air confrontation occurred after this site proved his account more fiction than fact.

‘The Angel at the Fence’

This media queen had called it the “best love story,” but Herman Rosenblat’s Holocaust memoir rang false on how he really met his wife at a concentration camp. Its publication was cancelled. A Holocaust historian first renounced the book.

‘Love and Consequences’

Using a pen name isn’t unusual, but this American writer also claimed to be a Native American gang member in South Central Los Angeles.  Margaret B. Jones’ first book about her young life, “Love and Consequences: A Memoir of Hope and Survival”, was denounced as fiction and recalled by the publisher.

‘Don’t Ever Tell’

From the third-largest island in Europe came “Don’t Ever Tell,” in which author Kathy O’Beirne  recounted years of family abuse. After selling millions of copies, the book attracted fraud charges in 2006 when five of O’Beirne’s eight siblings said most of the story was false.

‘The Kabul Beauty School’

This Midwest hairdresser never backed down from her version of events in “The Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil,” about her experience in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. However, other women who worked with the author said the book is filled with untruths and exaggeration.
Before it was called into question, there were rumors an Oscar-winning actress would play the lead in a movie version.

‘Decision Points’

The controversial former president’s much-anticipated and best-selling memoir came out last year and it didn’t take long for allegations to fly over plagiarism. Critics claimed whole passages – word for word – relied heavily on accounts published by others. What did he say was a “huge mistake” during his presidency?

‘I, Rigoberta Menchu’

This Guatemalan activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner’s 1983 autobiography was “I, Rigoberta Menchu”. Later, American anthropologist David Stoll traveled to Guatemala and came back with claims that Menchu’s testimonial was false.
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