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Deborah Feldman accused of fabrication in her Hasidic memoir


The Pub Lunch newsletter tells me there could be another ‘made-up’ memoir. Deborah Feldman’s book, Unorthodox, is a detailed account of her Hasidic childhood and how she eventually rejected the Hasidic way of life.

Pub Lunch writes:

“…a number of serious charges have emerged as to whether Unorthodox stretched the truth on multiple fronts, including the timing of when Feldman’s mother herself left the community; a sister whose existence is never mentioned; and a description of what is called a homicide that was, in fact, deemed a suicide by the coroner and New York State police.”

The NY Daily News has more details.

Sadly fake memoirs are nothing new. In fact they have been around for years. A famous example comes from the late 18th century when Thomas Chatterton wrote a number of poems and then claimed that they had been written by a 15th century monk named Thomas Rowley, and that he had merely transcribed them. Chatterton kept up the story until his death. And then there were the Hitlier diaries, and Go Ask Alice, and JT LeRoy, and James Frey.

Our feature on book hoaxes and literary frauds details the history of fakes in literature.

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