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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 March 2008, 09:31 GMT
Gangland memoir exposed as a fake
Love and Consequences book jacket
Margaret B Jones is the pseudonym of writer Margaret Seltzer
A memoir by a white woman that claimed she was raised in poverty by a black foster mother and sold drugs for a Los Angeles gang has been exposed as a lie.

Love and Consequences was revealed to be fake after the sister of author Margaret B Jones contacted its US publisher, Penguin imprint Riverhead.

Jones is really Margaret Seltzer, who actually grew up in a well-off area of California's San Fernando Valley.

Riverhead has recalled all copies of the book and cancelled her book tour.

The revelation follows the discovery last month that Belgian author Misha Defonseca - real name Monique De Wael - invented her supposedly autobiographical tale of surviving with a pack of wolves in Nazi-occupied Europe.

In Love and Consequences, Jones wrote about growing up as a half white, half Native American girl in a foster home in South Central Los Angeles.


She claimed one of her foster brothers was shot by one gang and that she sold drugs for another.

The author has since admitted she based her book on the experiences of friends she made while doing anti-gang outreach in Los Angeles.

"I was really torn," she told the New York Times. "I thought it was my opportunity to put a voice to people who people don't listen to."

In a statement, Riverhead said Seltzer had provided "a great deal of evidence to support her story".

"When it became known that the author was misrepresenting her personal story, we took it seriously [and] moved very quickly," they said.

The 19,000 copies of the book that have so far been distributed will now be recalled.

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