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You know UD likes a good hoax.

I mean, you know she likes a good hoax if you’ve been reading University Diaries for awhile and following her happy, excited coverage of hoaxes of all kinds, but mainly literary hoaxes.

There’s even a case study featuring UD in the soon-to-be-issued Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders update. Look for her under H, for hoaxophilia.

But while UD revels in the details of hoax writing and in statements from hoaxers like James Frey who’ve been found out, she’s disgusted by the thought of actually spending any time with the douchebags.

Thanks to the miracle of tv, however, we can wile away hours (use while away if you prefer) listening to hoaxers talk about what they’ve done, deny that they’ve done it, embellish their lies, etc., etc.

As I say, I can’t imagine doing this myself, but if you’re into it, you can spend a long evening with one of the most notorious hoaxers of all, Norma Khouri, who wrote a best-selling, searing memoir about her wretched life in Jordan. All of it lies.

Just get hold of Anna Broinowski’s film, Forbidden Lies. An Australian tv critic prepares us:

In addition to dozens of errors about Islam and life in Jordan, Dalia [the main wretched person] did not exist, there was no honour killing as she described, Khouri hadn’t lived in Jordan when she said she did and she hadn’t fled the country when, she says, her life became endangered for daring to tell her friend’s story.

In fact, she’d been living for years in Chicago with her husband and two children. The story was broken by Malcolm Knox, literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, and it won him a Walkley award. But the really big story was yet to be revealed.

Anna Broinowski’s film is an ambitious and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to get to the bottom of Khouri’s web of claims and counter-claims. Despite evidence that seems to prove Khouri’s deceit, she manages to worm and squirm and reshape her version of events at every turn so that it’s impossible to pin her down.

Well, what sort of hoaxer would she be if she couldn’t do that?

Margaret Soltan, August 17, 2009 12:42PM
Posted in: hoax

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