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Author Admits South Central Memoir is Fabrication

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A 33-year-old white woman from Sherman Oaks, now living in Eugene, Oregon, has made national headlines today as news comes that her memoir was largely fabricated. Last week, Margaret Seltzer who goes by the pen name Margaret B. Jones was featured in the New York Times' Home & Garden section in a fascinating story about her book, "Love and Consequences." One LAist reader explains her fascination about it in an e-mail:

I read the home section article twice, because it was just so bizarre and weird and compelling -- she said she was still a blood, she didn't know what "Big Mom" (so called foster grandmother) would think if she knew she might make a cookbook of her recipes, and her daughter was so cute!

Now, outed by her sister after the article came out, Jones has admitted that her memoir "about growing up among gangbangers in South Los Angeles has admitted it was a work of fiction."

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The author, "Margaret B. Jones," is actually Margaret Seltzer. Instead of being a half-white, half-Native American who grew up in a foster home and once sold drugs for the Bloods street gang, she is a white woman who was raised with her biological family in Sherman Oaks and graduated from Campbell Hall, an exclusive private school in the San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles Times reported. Seltzer's admission that her persona was made up came in a tearful-toned mea culpa to the New York Times, which last week published a profile of Seltzer using her pseudonym. It was accompanied by a photograph of the 33-year-old and her 8-year-old daughter in Eugene, Ore., where they now live. [NBC4]

The book's publisher, Riverhead Books, has withdrawn the book and the tour scheduled to begin today has been canceled.

To all this, local blogger Andrew at Here in Van Nuys says the tour has only begun: "No doubt, this incident will earn her great respect in Hollywood and open a future of lucrative job offers pouring in from Malibu and Beverly Hills....."

Learn more about where the author grew up in our Neighborhood Project featuring Sherman Oaks.

Book cover image from "Love and Consequences." Carrie Meathrell contributed to this story