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The real story behind "Love & Consequences"

March 3, 2008 |  8:46 pm

1000070193l_2 The gripping story of a mixed-race foster child growing up with an African American family in gang-ravaged South-Central Los Angeles earned young author Margaret B. Jones rave reviews. Today, an equally gripping story about Jones and her book, “Love & Consequences,” emerged: It was a lie.

The author is white, grew up in Sherman Oaks and is named Margaret Seltzer, according to the New York Times.  Publisher Riverhead Books is recalling the book and scrambling to explain how it was duped.

For whatever reason, I was really torn, and I thought it was my opportunity to put a voice to people who people don’t listen to,” Ms. Seltzer said told the Times. “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.”

Seltzer's true story began to emerge after the NYT published a feature last week, headlined "A Refugee from Gangland," about the up-and-coming author. Her older sister called the publisher after reading the article and seeing Seltzer’s photo. Publisher Q&A with author.

L.A. Times staff writers Bob Pool and Rebecca Trounson are working on the complete story.

---Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Sol Neelman