Thursday, July 24, 2008

She Says It’s True, Her Memoir of Forging

By Julie Bosman
Published: July 24, 2008 in The New York Times

“The Letters of Noël Coward,” a critically acclaimed book published by Alfred A. Knopf last year, includes a short, gossipy note from Coward on the subject of Julie Andrews.


“She is a bright, talented actress,” Coward writes. “And quite attractive since she dealt with her monstrous English overbite."
But the letter, and another much like it, were actually written by Lee Israel, (pic left), a biographer and editor in New York who spent two years writing forgeries from her studio apartment on the Upper West Side and then selling them to autograph dealers around the country.
Or so Ms. Israel says in her new memoir, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” in which she confesses to a host of offenses, both criminal and literary, and recounts how she was eventually caught by a dealer who took his suspicions to the police.
“For me, this was a big hoot and a terrific compliment,” Ms. Israel gleefully writes in her book, as she notes that two of her phony letters were “taken to be the real thing” by Barry Day, who edited the book on Coward.
Read the whole fascinating story at The New York Times online.

3 comments:

Kim Salamonson said...

I would like to know why you seem to have every book award finalists and winners but not even a mention of the Montanna Book Awards.
Kim

Bookman said...

The Montanna Book Awards are one of NZ's Most Prestigous awards why have you not mentioned them
Bookman

Bookman Beattie said...

Beattiesbookblog carried the full Montana NZ Book Awards results at 10.00pm on Monday evening last, the night the results were announced.
http://beattiesbookblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/opportunity-knocks-grimshaw-wins.html