Another memoir due to be published in February of 2009 and in line to be chosen by Oprah Winfrey as a future Oprah Book Club choice has turned out to be a hoax. “Angel At The Fence – The True Story Of A Love That Survived” is not a true story after all, according to the author who was forced to admit his duplicity after investigative reporters did fact-checking (which most agree should have been done by the publisher) and family members denounced the tale as fiction.
This is a second literary disappointment for Ms. Winfrey, who in earlier on-air interviews with the author reportedly called this “…the single greatest love story … we’ve ever told on the air.”, following the January 2006 revelation that James Frey’s memoir (one of her Book Club choices) was a lie.
Berkley Books has canceled plans to publish the supposed holocaust memoir and author Herman Rosenblat will be required to return the advance he received.
I know publishers love the heck out of these “memoir” books because they usually sell much better than fiction, but, really, they’re going to have to start vetting supposed memoir submissions with more diligence than they have displayed in the past.
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