Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008

Less Love, More Consequences

It's been a rough year for Penguin Books. The same company that promoted and later scrapped Angel at the Fence is also responsible for publishing Love and Consequences, the 2007 autobiography of Margaret B. Jones. The memoir detailed her childhood as a half white/half Indian girl living in a black foster home in the gang-plagued neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles and running drugs for The Bloods. After the book became a bestseller, the author's older sister recognized Margaret's photograph in The New York Times and revealed that "homegirl" Margaret Jones is actually Margaret "Peggy" Seltzer, a thirtysomething raised by her biological parents in San Fernando Valley, where she attended a well-to-do Episcopalian school. For her part, Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani knew even before the hoax was exposed that something wasn't quite right, noting in her review that certain scenes in the book seemed "self-consciously novelistic at times."