LiteratEye #25: A Case of Catch Me If You Can

Here’s the twenty fifth installment of LiteratEye, a series found only on The Art of the Prank Blog, by W.J. Elvin III, editor and publisher of FIONA: Mysteries & Curiosities of Literary Fraud & Folly and the LitFraud blog.

LiteratEye #25: A Case of Catch Me If You Can
By W.J. Elvin III
August 7, 2009

“All Arab men are taught that it is their responsibility to discipline the women in their lives, and that the best way to do so is corporal punishment.”

51636G4GY0L._SS500_200That’s not a true or false question, at least it didn’t start out that way. It’s a pivotal “fact” in Norma Khouri’s formerly best-selling Honor Lost: Love and Death in Modern Jordan. Internationally, with the title changed to Forbidden Love, the book was published in at least 15 countries.

Khouri presented herself as an oppressed young Jordanian woman fleeing the wrath of religion-maddened murderers. Her persecutors were ticked off because of Khouri’s part in her best friend’s very tame love affair, hardly more than a flirtation.

Under Islamic tradition and law, Khouri told readers, such carrying-on warranted killing.

A few years back, Australian journalist Malcolm Knox exposed the book as mostly imagined.

It was revealed that Khouri actually grew up in Chicago as Norma Bagain and later as Mrs. John Touliopoulos. She relocated to Australia, somewhat hurriedly due to the FBI’s desire to question her about a real estate scam.

Khouri admits to fabricating minor details and says she did so in order to protect herself and others.

Reporters and other commentators say she also made up major details. Continue reading “LiteratEye #25: A Case of Catch Me If You Can”