Brockman is not here to rejoice in today's new book gossip so it falls to me to satisfy our blog readers' appetite for scandal. While plagarism was last week's news the current topic under fire has circled back to "truth telling" in both journalism and memoir. In brief, two very different books are under fire but in very different ways.
Sebastian Junger's A Death in Belmont is a reexamination of the murder of Bessie Goldberg in 1963, and the conviction of Roy Smith, a black man who had been working in Goldberg's house the day of her death. Junger suggests that the murderer may have in fact been Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler. The book raises more questions than it answers and has been receiving excellent reviews. However, two people have been very angered by Junger's book — the victims daughter Leah M. Goldberg and a lawyer friend of hers, Joshua Marquis. Both have posted their arguments onto the book's customer comments on our website (and other book sites), and you can read them here.
Publisher of A Death in Belmont, W. W. Norton has issued a response to the accusations waged against Junger's book and you can read it here.
The customer comments don't stop there, though!
Last week I received a phone call from a Dr. Loren Pankratz who is a Consultation Psychologist in independent practice and Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry at Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon. He said that he had read a review I had written a year and a half ago on a book called Sickened. In a most polite way he wondered if I was aware that the author, Julie Gregory, was being investigated about her claims that her mother abused her via Munchausen by Proxy. An investigator, Brian Morgan, has been working on behalf of Julie Gregory's mother to disprove Gregory's accusations and has successfully petitioned to return the mother's adopted children who were taken away from her after Gregory had worked to have them removed for fear that her mother would similarly abuse them. Mr. Morgan has also been posting on the book's customer comments and you can read his statements here.
Stay tuned, I don't think the fur will stop flying yet...
Books mentioned in this post