You’d think the “adopted by wolves” part would have been a red flag

From this morning’s New York Times, news that a bestselling Holocaust memoir is a fake: “The author was never trapped in the Warsaw ghetto. Neither was she adopted by wolves who protected her from the Nazis, nor did she trek 1,900 miles across Europe in search of her deported parents or kill a German soldier in self-defense. She wasn’t even Jewish…”

I love that it took a genealogist to figure out that something wasn’t right about this story.

Update: Via lizhand, another fake memoirist.

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2 Responses to You’d think the “adopted by wolves” part would have been a red flag

  1. John Crowley says:

    Well, a lot of people believed in the fairy photographs. ANd ask tom disch about Whitley Streiber’s memoir about being sodomized by aliens. Do you actually KNOW any wolves? In my experience they can be very helpful, if they sense you are a kindred spirit, or humble yourself before them (the leader, anyway, the great gray one with the penetrating yellow eyes). Happens.

    • Matt Ruff says:

      I’m old enough to remember the Streiber memoir myself. In fact during my first ever lunch with a publisher, we spent some time talking about whether Whitley was nuts or just fibbing.

      As for the wolves, the problem isn’t so much that I find the idea unbelievable as that it strikes me as something that’d make a great bit of business for a novel — which leads naturally to the question of whether it’s already fictional.

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