Saturday, March 8, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust: Part 3

Turns out, not only did Margaret Seltzer fabricate her life story in Love and Consequences, she also plagiarized--and from the work of Sherman Alexie, one of my all-time favorite authors.

When I found out that Seltzer had posed as a biracial Native American, I wondered what Alexie would think. He's written and spoken extensively about white writers who co-opt, what they believe is, the Native American experience by posing as Indians.

In 2006, Mr. Alexie discovered that a writer who went by the name of Nasdijj was appropriating, not just the experiences of any Native but of Alexie himself. Doing so made Nasdijj the recipient of numerous accolades and praise from the literati. And if imitation is the highest form of flattery, Sherman Alexie has been flattered once again.

Apparently, Margaret Seltzer plagiarized from Alexie's autobiographical novel Reservation Blues. L.A. Weekly writer Matthew Fleischer has more about the controversy, including reaction from Alexie, here.

Lastly, NPR has a great feature about the history of literary frauds.


Mandy said...

Alexie also just gave a cool interview today on Weekend Edition about his new book that's coming out. I thought of you.

Nadra said...

Thanks much for letting me know! I'll go track the interview down.