Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Fact Checkers need not apply

This is really wild. It amazes me that there was such limited fact-checking on this story about a biracial (white and Native) woman's gangland memoir. Especially now, when some of the research is or should be so much easier with eletronic databases. I wonder how many publishers are scrambling to cover bases on recently published or about-to-be-published memoirs.

If you haven't heard about this, read or listen to stories about Love and Consequences, a completely fake memoir published last week. To good reviews.
NYTimes story (different than above)
Galley Cat surveys the reactions
NPR's report

I wonder ...
If the book would have gotten so much attention, or even been published if it was a Black woman's story?
Would it have been fact checked more closely?
Was the story marketable mostly because the woman is part white and looks white?
It's interesting to me that in some ways this seems like a story that boils down to:
Woman Raised by Wolves [Black people] Tells Story.
Somehow, telling her story as the outsider raised by the outsiders/savages, was really a good sell for her, her agent and publishing company. And no, I haven't read it, just riffing off the coverage and descriptions so far.

What do you think?

1 comment:

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