Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Faked Memoirs


At the bottom of the sidebar to this blog is a list of books that I have enjoyed. One of them is "Left to Tell," an amazing story of survival and forgiveness in Rwanda during and after the 1994 genocide. I was moved by the story as I prepared to visit Tanzania in March.

A wonderful blogger and MCW graduate, Mary Rose Buckler, MD, brings some insight into the story...turns out much of the book is fabricated. Her post delicately hints at the details.

How sad! Just like the recent pulling of the faked memoir "Angel at the Fence," I would like to think that "Left to Tell" was written to make a point and to bring hope, rather than to cash in on an opportunity. It is hard to believe that there wasn't a story that would have moved people without fabricating any of the details.

Other recent fraudulent memoirs are listed here.

None of us is perfect, our cultural standards of "truth" differ, and our memories are subject to erosion. Still, as a person who writes a bit, I feel nothing but sadness for these discredited writers whose hard work went to waste.

1 comment:

Jabulani said...

Having left South Africa in 1989 prior to the change of government, I have subsequently heard from friends still there, about the "rewriting of our history". I'm given to understand that it is not so much an account-from-the-other-side designed to balance the scales, rather an outpouring of an aggrieved individual let loose with a pen (or keyboard!). This saddens me; history, like memoirs is better as fact, even if it makes for bland or unpalatable reading. How can we respect it otherwise?