Hello, again, everyone. Did you miss me?

Don't all yell at once.

Anyhow, I hope those of you who observe it are having a blessed Christmas season. (Because, as the Better Half would insist, it's a season, not just a day.) Getting back into the swing of things, it looks like another headache for Oprah. Appears that another memoir she has hawked has only a nodding acquaintance with the truth. From The New Republic, which broke the story:

In the winter of 1945, Herman meets a nine-year-old girl--herself a Jew masquerading as a Christian at a nearby farm--when she shows up one day outside the camp and tosses him an apple over the barbed-wire fence. For the next seven months, the girl at the fence delivers Herman food each day, until he is suddenly transferred to another camp. Fast forward to Coney Island, 1957: Herman, now in his 20s and settled in New York, reluctantly agrees to a blind date with a young Polish immigrant named Roma Radzicki. They speak of their time during the war. Roma mentions a boy she had helped to survive in a camp. She said she fed him apples. A flash of recognition. Months later, Herman marries Roma, his angel at the fence.

Since going public with his story a decade ago, Herman appeared twice on "The Oprah Winfrey Show", who called it "the single greatest love story, in 22 years of doing this show, we've ever told on the air," and has been featured on the Hallmark Channel, Lifetime Television, and CBS News.
Sadly, all it was was a story. No apples. No barbed-wire fence. No angel.

The day after Sherman’s second article appeared, Rosenblat confessed to his agent, Andrea Hurst, that he had fabricated the love story, and Berkley announced that they are canceling the publication of the book.
Admittedly, this book wasn't part of Oprah's book club, unlike A Million Self-Aggrandizing Fabrications. And she hasn't been publicly dissed, as she was when Franzen said "thanks, but no thanks." (For the record, I hated The Corrections.) But this certainly can't make her feel particularly good about things.

I actually feel bad for her about this. While I'm no great fan of hers, particularly when she has one of those "favorite things" consumption orgies, I think she has done a lot to promote reading as a pass-time. (I couldn't find any readily-available information on what effect, if anything, her book club has had on literacy rates. We all know what it does for book sales.) Sticking with classics was probably a good idea, though.

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