Tinker, tailor, soldier, fabulist alert! The credibility of A Long Way Gone, the bestselling Farrar, Strauss and Giroux memoir from child soldier Ishmael Beah has been called into question by an Australian couple. It seems Beah may have spent a mere three months-not two years-kidnapped, drugged, running for his life, and watching his friends and entire family be raped and hacked to death. The outrage! Listen here, Ishmael, there will be no getting mixed up, we don't care how much brown-brown they made you take or how heavy your AK-47 was. Our rules about memoirs are very serious.
Apparently, spending time in a combat zone doesn't have the greatest affect on your memory-or your mental stability. According to a FOIA request submitted by Radar (flashy journalisty move there, kids), New Republic storyteller Scott Beauchamp went AWOL before writing his columns, now retracted by the magazine. We love how the inherent and obvious vulnerabilities of each of these stories was thoroughly vetted before made public. It's just so fuzzy-making when publishers go the extra mile to avoid turning people with fucked up (but oh-so compelling and moving!)stories into sacrificial lambs. Isn't it?