Margaret Seltzer

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Margaret Seltzer (pseudonymously Margaret B. Jones, born 1975 in Los Angeles, California) is an American writer.

In 2008, Seltzer published her first book, Love and Consequences: A Memoir of Hope and Survival,[1] about her alleged experiences growing up as a half white, half Native American foster child and Bloods gang member in South Central Los Angeles. Shortly after publication, the book was proven to be completely fictitious: Seltzer was actually fully white, grew up with her biological parents in the upscale San Fernando Valley community of Sherman Oaks and attended Campbell Hall, an affluent Episcopalian day school in the North Hollywood area of Los Angeles. [2] [3]

While promoting the book in radio interviews with WBUR's On Point and NPR's Tell Me More, Seltzer spoke with an African American Vernacular dialect and frequently referred to alleged gang friends as "homies" and "my home girl."[4][5]

Before being exposed as fabricated, the book was praised as "humane and deeply affecting" by Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times.[6]

Book withdrawal[edit]

The book's publisher, Riverhead Books, recalled all copies of the book and audiobook from booksellers. and Barnes & Noble pulled the purchase page for the book from both of their sites, and Riverhead offered refunds to those who purchased it. The hoax was discovered when the publisher was contacted by Seltzer's sister.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jones, Margaret (2008). Love and consequences: a memoir of hope and survival. New York: Riverhead Books. ISBN 9781594489778. OCLC 180576296.
  2. ^ a b Rich, M (2008-03-04). "Gang Memoir, Turning Page, Is Pure Fiction". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
  3. ^ "Memoir a fake, author says". Los Angeles Times. 2008-03-04.
  4. ^ Ashbrook, Tom (February 29, 2008). ""Love and Consequences" in South Central LA (RealAudio file)". On Point. Archived from the original on May 22, 2011.
  5. ^ Martin, M (2008-03-05). "Margaret Seltzer Joins List of Fabricating Writers (RealAudio file)". Tell Me More. National Public Radio.
  6. ^ "Love and Consequences, Margaret B. Jones, Book - Barnes & Noble". Retrieved 2010-09-17.

External links[edit]