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Entries in Lies (1)

Thursday
Feb162006

A white lie

AnotherSadLie.jpgDid a struggling white writer of gay erotica become one of multicultural literature’s most celebrated memoirists — by passing himself off as Native American?

That's the question posed by Matthew Fleischer of the LA Weekly in regard to the essay "The Blood Runs like a River Through My Dreams," which was published in Esquire in 1999 and later expanded into a memoir of the same name. It was critically praised. It garnered a small collection of literary awards and trinkets. And now appears to be shriveling under the same spotlight that bore down so heavily on James Frey.

So Frey exaggerated--ok, big deal. People do that. They augment the truth. Women get boob jobs. William Shatner has that rug on his head. I can accept that. But to co-opt someone else's culture? That's really sad. And it's such an ironic contrast to a wonderful multicultural author like Sherman Alexie, who writes fiction that is obviously autobiographical. (If you haven't read "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven," you're missing out).