The authors of two acclaimed books on inspiring childhood lives have admitted to fabricating their accounts. Misha Defonseca, author of the touching “Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years,” has admitted that she not only did not wander as an orphan through the Belgium woods in World War II, but she is not even Jewish as claimed in the popular book. Margaret Jones, a pseudonym for Margaret Seltzer, has admitted that her account in “Love and Consequences” in growing up as a mixed race, drug running, foster child in L.A. is false.
Defonseca’s account was so moving (even including accounts of being sheltered by wolves) that it was made into a movie and translated into 18 languages. She was discredited recently and admitted that she made it up.
Notably, she offered the same basic defense as Seltzer that her account was a collection of images and characters that she encountered in her youth living with a cruel family.
Seltzer was busted by her own sister, Cynthia Seltzer, who read a story in the House & Home section of The New York Times about her sister’s tragic upbringing and blew the whistle. Putting aside what future holidays will be like at the Seltzer house, the story is even more bizarre due to the fact that Seltzer now claims that some of her material came from chats she had at Starbucks while writing the book. That is a little bit different from the first-person account of working with the Bloods as a drug runner — unless baristas are considerably different in L.A.
For the Defonseca story, click here
For the Seltzer story, click here.