Sunday, December 28, 2008
It seems that Oprah's penchant for heart wrenching true stories has left her, once again, endorsing a story that isn't is a novel dressed up as a memoir. Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love That Survived goes that extra insult by drawing on the tragedy of the Holocaust to add pathos to the tale.
It seems to me that if Oprah and publisher's like Penguin (and uindeed the agency of Andrea Hurst & Associates) want to benefit from the popularity of amazing true stories they could both afford to hire fact checkers and investigators before putting the word "true" right in the book's title. It seems the story falls at the first hurdle in that prisoners and locals could not meet at the fence of the camp where the future couple allegedly met. Oprah and Penguin have both made this same mitake repeatedly and surely should have learned from it by now?
I feel sad that on older person who no doubt had a true story worth telling let an embellished version escape the circle of his immediate family (where granddad came ebroider his tales to his heart's content). But as with Cassie Edward's plagiarism, deliberiberately false memoirs cannot be excused out of sympathy.