There is now an asterisk next to Stealing Indians on the PEN Literary Award site with a note indicating that the matter is being investigated.


Several other posthumous blurbs were provided by renowned dead authors such as Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, and J.D. Salinger. The LA Times further investigated the matter and sometimes was able to confirm the claims; Stephen King, Noam Chomsky, and Stephen Pinker did throw him bones here and there. But then, this:

However, the Dalai Lama’s office confirms that His Holiness did not write an introduction for Smelcer (one attributed to him appears in Smelcer’s book, “Alutiiq Noun Dictionary and Pronunciation Guide.”)


Anyway, on the Amazon page, Ray Bradbury calls Stealing Indians “A beautiful and moving story of courage and love.”

A stunning tale of pathos and conviction.

Update, 8/27: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, is one of the writers whose accolades appear on the Stealing Indians Amazon page. She wrote to Jezebel that she has asked Smelcer to remove her blurb several times:

He was so intrusive, he kept lobbying me to give him a blurb. And I basically gave him one just to get rid of him. I was very busy on tour, and unbeknownst to me, he put it on a new book he just published. I’ve written him multiple times for over a year to take my blurb off his publicity, and he wouldn’t do it.

He uses all these famous dead people’s names. I never thought someone would be so brazen as to do something like that, but I thought, okay, I’m in good company!