Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Literary hoaxes

Now that Berkley Books has just cancelled Herman Rosenblat's Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love That Survived after the core story about how he met his wife while in a concentration camp was proven false, ABC News has put together a slide show of some other famous literary hoaxes.

The list includes, in addition to Rosenblat:

James Frey
JT Leroy
Norma Khouri
Margaret B. Jones
Misha Defonseca
Anthony Godby Johnson
Lauren Stratford
Clifford Irving
Araki Yususada
Jayson Blair
Binjamin Wilkomirski
Forrest Carter
Kaavya Viswanathan
Tom Carew
Janet Cooke
The Hitler Diaries
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

There are a few others they could have covered--there are entire genres of hoaxes, like Christian conversion stories of fake Illuminati, witches, Satanists, Jesuits, and terrorists, stories of fake undercover agents and spies, stories of mind-controlled sex slaves, and so on. The Christian conversion stories are the ones I'm most familiar with, many of which have been promoted by Jack T. Chick of Chick tract fame, or have involved film producer David Balsiger (see especially footnote 7 of the linked article).

1 comment:

Ermelinda said...

What a shame that the Rosenblats lied about their story. I wish Oprah would publicize only checked-out true stories from now on forward.

I read about a genuine Holocaust love story in the NY Times recently and it's better than the Rosenblats anyway. Stan Lee and Neal Adams the famous comic book artists were publicizing the story of Dina Gottliebova Babbitt. I checked and I'm surprised there's no book on this yet. It's a great story! It also appears to be all true, thankfully.

Dina Gottliebova Babbitt who was a 19 year old art student at Auschwitz. There she painted Snow White and the Seven Dwarves on the wall of the children's barracks to cheer them up. Dina's art became her salvation and helped her find true love!

Dr. Mengele, the Angel of Death, found out about the mural Dina painted and called for her. She thought she was going to be gassed, but she bravely stood up to Mengele and he decided to make her his portrait painter, saving herself and her mother from the gas chamber.

After the war, Dina interviewed for a job as an animator based on the art she did in Auschwitz and the person interviewing her turned out to be the man who created Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs for the movie. They fell in love and got married. Show White saved Dina's life twice! I love this story!