Gang researchers should not take very literally “Love and Consequences,” a new memoir in which Margaret B. Jones wrote about her life as a half-white, half-Native American girl growing up in Los Angeles as a foster child among gang-bangers, running drugs for the Bloods. It’s fiction, says the New York Times. Margaret B. Jones is a pseudonym for Margaret Seltzer, who is white and grew up in well-to-do Sherman Oaks, Ca., with her biological family. She has never lived with a foster family, nor did she run drugs for gang members.
Riverhead Books, which published “Love and Consequences,” is recalling all copies and has canceled Seltzer's book tour. Seltzer, 33, admitted that the personal story she told was entirely fabricated. She insisted that many details were based on the experiences of close friends she had met while working to reduce gang violence in Los Angeles. She said, “I was in a position where at one point people said you should speak for us because nobody else is going to let us in to talk. Maybe it's an ego thing – I don't know. I just felt that there was good that I could do and there was no other way that someone would listen to it.” Last Thursday, the Times profiled Seltzer. Her older sister, Cyndi Hoffman, saw the article and called Riverhead to say the story was untrue.