Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Five hoax memoirs still worth reading

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and the Ustari Cycle from Pocket/Gallery, including We Are Not Good People. At the B&N Reads blog he tagged five fake memoirs still worth reading, including:
Go Ask Alice, by Beatrice Sparks

Go Ask Alice is still officially listed as being an anonymous memoir of a teenage girl who descends into a hell of drug abuse, prostitution, and homelessness. Written during a time of moral panic among suburban parents who feared the 1960s sex-and-drugs culture was going to seduce their kids, the book raised eyebrows with its depiction of the narrator’s rapid descent into full-blown drug addiction, even if the way she hits every branch on the misery tree on her way down to the bottom is a bit on the nose for what is ultimately an anti-drug fable. Sparks, who wrote countless other fictional diaries, does succeed in capturing the lazy way disaffected youth can get into trouble through simple boredom and peer pressure, and the story is much more layered and brutal than you might imagine. That’s likely why it’s still in print more than 40 years later, and long after it’s veracity as a memoir was debunked.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue