The New York Times revealed that forty year-old Tom MacMaster -
a mature student at Edinburgh University - wrote to a successful
lesbian author in the U.S. to ask her help in getting a book
He contacted Minal Hajratwala, whose memoir Leaving India won a
literary award, in May and sent her numerous chapters of a proposed
Originally, she declined to forward the chapters onto a literary
agent but - after the revelation that his alter ago was a ruse
emerged - she re-read the work and launched a scathing attack on
Writing on her blog, she said: "The faked lesbian sex scenes
turn my stomach. The narcissistic writing, the sprinkling of
quotations from the Koran and tidbits from Syrian history, the
stock stories compiled from a thousand news clippings - it all
seems painfully obvious.
"So I find myself among the countless people - among them
journalists for many (though not all) of the world's most respected
news organizations - who today are kicking themselves for
believing, and trying to help."
She later published portions of the work online - something
MacMaster is trying to censor.
Speaking to the New York Times' Lede, he said: "I am seeking
legal advice regarding potential copyright violation cases
involving these posts. I am also considering potential libel cases
here in the U.K. involving publications and Web sites that
published false information regarding me (including fake quotes and
a fake interview done by an individual claiming to be me).
"Any further information on this matter, should Ms. Hajratwala
not remove the materials from her website, will be dealt with by my