The Khouri Report

Norma Khouri has finally sent her publisher some paperwork to back up her story–poorly reproduced, faxed copies of a passport, a Jordanian ID card, and other materials, but Random House immediately returned the papers to Khouri’s lawyer for translation and further analysis. In addition, Khouri is now suing Malcom Knox, the SMH journalist who first broke the story of the hoax. What’s interesting about this piece is this tidbit from Khouri’s lawyer:

Mr. Black says for him, the central issue is whether Dalia existed. “If one is a supporter of Norma’s position, one has to believe that she did exist and that the events occured as described in the book,” he said.

which makes clear that they’re not even concerned with whether Khouri was in Jordan, as she says she was in the book, and that she witnessed the events described and had to flee for her life. They’re now focusing on whether the character Dalia did in fact exist. Given the very real number of women who die each year in honor killings in Jordan, I’m sure there is indeed a woman like Dalia, but that may be the only thing they can find. All the rest, the unisex salon, the Christian lover, the friendship with Norma, the flight to Cyprus, etc. sounds like it’s been novelized. Which hardly makes this a memoir.
And, in another bizarre twist, it was revealed yesterday that Vice-President Dick Cheney’s daughter Elizabeth had written a letter in support of Khouri’s Australian visa application. So, add Ms. Cheney to the list of people fooled by this woman, whose vocation truly seems to be acting, not writing.
Earlier installments of the Khouri report: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

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