Book publishers and TV personality Oprah Winfrey have once again been duped by an author claiming that his story was real. Readers might remember Winfrey’s support for James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, which was supposed to be his memoir about his struggle with drug addiction. That story broke into a million little pieces when proven to be an exaggerated account of what happened in real life.
This time around, it is the book Angel at a Fence: The True Story of a Love That Survived that is in the limelight. Written by Herman Rosenblat, the book was supposed to be an account of his experience at a concentration camp wherein he first met his future wife – the angel at the fence who threw him apples. According to his story, they met again on a blind date 12 years after the end of the war, this time in Coney Island. They are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.
If the story were true, it would indeed be one of the greatest love stories of all time. Unfortunately, it is too good to be true. After a lot of media attention – thanks in part to Oprah’s taking them under her wing in her show – it has been revealed that the story is all made up. As such, Berkley Books is cancelling the book and taking back the advance that was given to Mr. Rosenblat. A movie based on the book is also in the works, to be produced by Harris Salomon. Apparently, a good story is a good story – the movie will be still be released but under the label of fiction instead.
Photo courtesy of The New York Times