Before the revelation that elusive writer J.T. Leroy was actually a hoax perpetrated by a San Francisco woman, there was the case of Anthony Godby Johnson, reportedly a terminally ill adolescent whose memoir, A Rock and a Hard Place
, detailed a horrifying history of sexual abuse at the hands of his own parents. Johnson, who for health reasons communicated only by phone, formed an intensely emotional relationship with Tales of the City
author Armistead Maupin. It continued for several years before Maupin became convinced he was the butt of an elaborate literary joke and that Johnson was the creation of his "guardian," Vicki Johnson. Johnson's identity ha...