Christian publisher pulls heaven book after boy retracts story: report

Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:08pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - A Christian publisher moved to pull a popular book by a boy who described his time in heaven while in a coma, the Washington Post reported on Friday, days after the child, who co-authored the book with his father, retracted his story.

In an open letter posted online on Tuesday, Alex Malarkey, 16, wrote that he made up the story contained in his 2010 memoir, "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven," because he thought it would bring him attention.

"I did not die. I did not go to heaven," he wrote. "People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the bible, which is enough."

Tyndale House, the publisher, said it would stop selling Malarkey's book about the time he spent in heaven after a 2004 car crash left him in a coma for two months, which he co-authored with his father, Kevin Malarkey, the Washington Post reported.

The publisher, which has removed the title from the list it maintains on its website of books it has published, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Questions about the book's authenticity had been raised previously.

The young author's mother, Beth Malarkey, wrote in a blog post in April that the book was "in error" and that her son, who is paralyzed from the car accident, "has not received monies from the book nor have a majority of his needs been funded by it."

The book contract with Tyndale was with Kevin Malarkey, and not Alex or Beth, the Post reported.

Neither Kevin nor Beth Malarkey could immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; Editing by Eric Walsh)