When the Story Stolen Is Your Own

It was hailed as a great Native American memoir, but this writer smelled a fake

In 1999 a Native American writer, born fragile and poor on a destitute Indian reservation, published an essay, "The Blood Runs like a River Through My Dreams," in Esquire. It earned a National Magazine Award nomination and was later expanded into a memoir of the same title that became a finalist for a PEN/Martha Albrand Award. That rez-to-riches tale of courage and redemption sounds like a Horatio Alger story, doesn't it? It should be a movie. Or at least an episode of A&E's Biography. Of course, I'm biased, because, well, it's my story. Kind of.

I did not write "The Blood Runs...