The humorous, succinctly-told true tale of how a onetime "New York Times bestselling author" suddenly realizes that her career is on the skids, and the creative way she comes up with to create enough cash to survive in New York City. Acerbic author Lee Israel makes a decent living writing biographies, but when the checks dry up, her financial situation grows ever more desperate. She turns her literary talents in a new direction: creating forgeries of letters purported to be by literary and cinematic greats, and discovers that she has a talent for it. At first, selling the forgeries is remarkably easy, but in order to keep up the ruse, Israel must take further and further risks. The story is the basis of the movie starring Melissa McCarthy.