No love, just consequences

I am halfway through Margaret B. Jones’ (I mean, Seltzer) Love and Consequences, which I cannot link to because it is not for sale.  In fact, I’m not even sure if I’m supposed to be reading it, since we’re supposed to send it back.  If you don’t know why, this article sums it up rather nicely.  (The NYT link that I find more interesting is the original article that stirred up so much trouble, by being totally based in falsehood.)  I will post my conclusions when I finish, hopefully at lunch tomorrow.  Basically, it is pretty well-written, although very, very stylized, as many reviews of it noted.  I can’t speak to the veracity of the content.  I mean, of course it’s fake, but is it authentic?  I have no idea, having as much credibility on the subject as, it turns out, she does.

But I wish to direct you to somebody who actually does have credibility, namely one expatjane, and whose 2 blog posts on this kerfuffle are my favorites of the many that have been generated over the last week: Memoirs and Street Cred and Memoirs and Street Cred II.  I think a lot of the discussion about memoir and memory and truth and so on is important, and clearly we need to have the same discussion over and over until our tongues fall out, or at least until novels are seen to be as interesting as memoirs.  But to me, the more interesting questions here have to do with the importance of race in the book being sold at all, and how it was promoted, and, as expatjane points out, how incredibly foolish the industry looks from the perspective of people who actually lived in Jones’ imagined world.

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2 comments so far

  1. ExpatJane on

    Thanks for linking to me. I noticed and decided to skip over 😉

    Like I wrote, the one thing that stood out to me was the lack of questioning she got regarding her story. I’ve noticed, in contrast, let a black person have over the top allegations on something and we’ve got to be armed to the gills with proof because we’re very likely to have our stories, accusations and perspectives dismissed.

    Considering her story tapped into some of the most obvious black stereotypes I thought it was interesting. Ironically, had she not been revealed as a liar her “success” of pulling herself out of the mean streets would have also only gone to support those pull yourself up by your bootstraps theorists who believe that the only reason those in black America are still having problems is because they’re inherently lazy. I mean this Margaret B. Jones worked her way out, why can’t the others? Some would have used it to only justify their racism.

    :::written in haste as I’m running late for work, so forgive any typos:::

  2. bookavore on

    I agree! And I think that’s something that definitely has not been discussed enough, probably because the (very white) publishing industry is (rightly) pretty embarrassed. You’d think they would have learned from the last umpteen scandals that if it sounds like everything you’ve heard before, it’s probably fake. And if it sounds like everything you’ve heard before, why not look for something a little more interesting?


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