Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Memoirs of A Literary Forger

Book - 2008
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An audacious memoir by a down-on-her-luck writer, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" is Israel's story of the astonishing literary forgeries she conceived and successfully executed for almost two years.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, [2008]
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hbk. ed
Copyright Date: ©2008
ISBN: 9781416588672
Branch Call Number: B Lee I AUTO
Characteristics: x, 129 pages ; 23 cm


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Can You Ever Forgive Me, Week 1

Welcome to July's Online Book Club discussion! This month, we're discussing Can You Ever Forgive Me? by Lee Israel. (more)

From Library Staff

Online Book Club pick for July 2019. Author Lee Israel forged and sold letters by literary stars for more than two years before she was caught.

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Dec 31, 2020

I got this book to read after seeing the movie, as I enjoyed the movie so much. There are some differences, but I can't see I gained a whole lot of new insight from reading the book. Lee Israel is an interesting misanthrope, but doesn't delve very deep into her own psychology. So an enjoyable read, but I already knew the story.

caleherreman Aug 10, 2020

Lee Israel was a hotshot biographer, in demand by publishers. But when her hot streak was over, she had to get a job. It didn't suit her. But she *was* one helluva writer, and she came up with a way to keep herself afloat that was definitely not ethical or legal-- but she was great at it!

I enjoyed this short memoir. She is a witty companion, with no vanity about making herself or her criminal activities look good, but she does ask you to consider the talent and hard work that went into her scheme.

Feb 14, 2020

a primer for the film of the same name, which is much, much better

Dec 31, 2019

Movie was actually better than the book

Dec 11, 2019

Book showed me how narcissistic Lee Israel was. It was all about Lee.

FPL_ThomasF Dec 06, 2019

A slim volume based on questionable morals that shows the brightness of Lee Israel's writing talent that ultimately, has been dimmed by greed.

Aug 13, 2019

Great read after seeing the movie starring Melissa McCarthy! I'm not sure I would have read the book if I hadn't seen the movie. Melissa brought lots of sympathy to the character. It didn't come through as well in the book but still an interesting read!

Aug 10, 2019

Interesting book. I understand being broke. Her lack of remorse is appalling.

Jul 15, 2019

Watched the movie starring Melissa McCarthy, then read Lee Israel's book. Both very much worth the time. Succinctly written with Israel's deadpan humor that McCarthy captures in a riveting performance.

May 28, 2019

Lee's survival tale of a older woman who has alienated most of her friends and colleagues by being obnoxious is truthful. Drunk dialing on the phone while pretending to be say Barbara Streisand, among other famous people she imitated. She forged letters of famous people, and even stole from libraries collections of letters of famous people to support herself, and her cats. Lee turned Curmudgeon as her career went down in flames due to her drinking and inability to live on her salary, which leads to poor decisions. It also shows the greed of the dealers who enabled her forgeries to past to collectors, which is no surprise. Short and insightful, this book made me laugh at her cunning tale of survival, while feeling pity for a talent wasted by booze.

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