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Showing posts from January 12, 2006

Comment: Writers, Writing, and Last Laughs

So if you're the sort of person who keeps up with news in the book world (or even if you're not), you may have heard about the twin scandals of the past week: J.T. LeRoy (author of the cultishly embraced SARAH and THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS, fictionalized, fantasized memoirs of his youth as a truck stop prostitute in the South) does not exist , and James Frey (author of Oprah pick and massive bestseller A MILLION LITTLE PIECES, a memoir of his struggle up from drug addiction and crime) made it up. Details are still coming out, but it seems fairly clear that LeRoy was a creation of Laura Albert (who wrote the books) and Savannah Knoop (who played LeRoy in public). And Frey has now admitted that he exaggerated or invented many aspects of his life for his book, including his jail time and other dramatic elements. Frey's story seems to be getting a lot more press -- Larry King, Oprah, and the publisher are all weighing in, and readers are expressing a wide ra