Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Read My Memoir--It's Pure Fiction

Noticed the increasing number of so-called memoirs whose authors are admitting they fabricated the whole thing? How did these people get agents? How did they get published? First-- and this is just recent events-- we read that Misha Defonseca’s memoir titled “Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years” is a sham. Now we learn that some private school Wasp white bread fed and bred chick has written about her years in a gang----yeah right. Okay, so maybe she met a few gang members and maybe even worked with them. So—write about that. It ain’t a memoir, honey. If it’s fiction, be up front about it and say so. Or maybe, it is just so difficult to get anyone to pay attention to (ie publish) fiction, that desperate measures were tried.
I have a close friend who writes fiction—no pretend memoir writing here—and has been praised unabashedly by other well-known writers (much- published and who, by the way, are honest about their genre). This writer, on the young side, has been told she has a real ear for dialogue. But because she doesn’t write “fem-fiction” no one can figure where to pigeonhole her work. To her credit, she has not given up. And I know she won’t. I also know that if the only way you can sell your work is to lie about it, then, you’re in the wrong business.

Share your thoughts on this. Let those agents and publishers hear you.

Copyright 2008 Kathryn Fallon klaatukafe


Anonymous said...

You have put it perfectly. As a struggling writer, it is quite upsetting to read about events such as these. If the only way to sell a memoir is to make it up, what has the world come to? Are our lives so comfortable in this day and age that we nothing interesting to write about anymore? Memoirs are an "hot" item in the publishing industry, personally, however, unless it is Angela's Ashes, I favor fiction because when I am reading it I do not have to wonder if it is made up or not--I already know.

Juan said...

How awful that the Rosenblats lied about their story and that the publishers and movie makers fell for it. Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which was a great book and now movie, never pretended to be true. The Rosenblats, like Madoff, are harming the good Jewish name and it's terrible.

I read a New York Times article about Stan Lee and Neal Adams the comic book artists supporting another TRUE Holocaust love story. There was a beautiful young artist, Dina Gottliebova Babbitt, who painted Snow White and the Seven Dwarves on the children's barracks at Auschwitz to cheer them up. Dina's art became the reason she and her Mother survived Auschwitz.

Painting the mural for the children caused Dina to be taken in front of Dr. Mengele, the Angel of Death. She thought she was going to be gassed, but bravely she stood up to Mengele and he decided to make her his portrait painter, saving herself and her mother from the gas chamber as long as she was doing painting for him.

Dina's story is true because some of the paintings she did for Mengele in Auschwitz survived the war and are at the Auschwitz Birkenau Museum. Also, the story of her painting the mural of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on the children's barrack has been corroborated by many other Auschwitz prisoners, and of course her love and marriage to the animator of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the Disney movie after the war in Paris is also a fact.

I wish Oprah would do a story about Dina and her art not about the Rosenblats who were pulling the wool over all our eyes.