Author of Hoax Book Created Elaborate Backstory


"Prior to publication the author provided a great deal of evidence to support her story: photographs; letters; parts of Peggy's life story in another published book; Peggy's story had been supported by one of her former professors; Peggy even introduced the agent to people who misrepresented themselves as her foster siblings," wrote Marilyn Ducksworth, a Riverhead spokesperson, in an e-mail to ABC NEWS.

Ducksworth also said that Seltzer had promised to tell the truth in a signed publishing agreement.

Seltzer's editor, Sarah McGrath, told the Times that the author's story had been consistent over three years of their working together.

"I've been talking to her on the phone and getting e-mails from her for three years, and her story never has changed," McGrath told the paper. "All the details have been the same. There never have been any cracks."

Calls made to Seltzer's home by ABC News were not returned.

Last week, the Holocaust memoir "Misha: A Memoir of the Holocaust Years" by Misha Defonseca was revealed to be a fake. Published in 1997 and translated into 18 languages, "Misha" describes a Belgian Jewish girl's trek across Europe to find her parents. Along the way, she takes shelter among packs of friendly wolves. Faced with documentary evidence, Defonseca's lawyer admitted the woman was not even Jewish and had spent the war in Brussels.

Two years ago, James Frey, author of the best-seller "A Million Little Pieces," was forced to come clean on the Oprah Winfrey Show, admitting that he had fabricated and exaggerated details about his drug use and rehabilitation.

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