January 10, 2006

"We were in discussions after we sold it as to whether to publish it as fiction or as nonfiction."

Oh, it's mostly just a matter of which best-seller list you think you can climb, isn't it? So call it a memoir. What the hell!

14 comments:

ALH ipinions said...

Well, I suppose if the government could be sold a pack of lies about WMDs, or if the NY Times could be hoodwinked into publishing creative writing as news, then Oprah shouldn't feel too much the fool for being sold on a book of fiction as nonfiction!

reader_iam said...
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reader_iam said...

Makes me think of "truthines," a word I can't abide.

So ironic that TSG published it's report right after that gem was announced as word of the year.

I love life's ironies.

reader_iam said...

Interesting that the NYT is playing catch-up here, when there have been rumors about this for some time and they relatively recently interviewed Frey.

Also, the TSG report was up relatively early on Sunday, when I saw it and got teed off about it.

price said...

Embellishing facts seems so quaint compared to the whole JT LeRoy and Night Listener situations. At least James Frey exists...

PatCA said...

I saw him on Oprah and thought there was something...off about him. If eyes are the window to the soul, his revealed nothing. His story sounded outlandish, and so I didn't buy the book. Also, after viewing some film of him at home, Oprah asked about some beer bottles showing in the frame, was he still drinking. He kind of stuttered, well, my friends drink around me, um. Very weak.

knoxgirl said...

It's one thing to write a memoir that's loose with the facts. But then to go on Oprah and really act like you're that person? WTF. Why would you even think you could get away with that in this day and age?

peter hoh said...

In other shocking news from the literary world, it turns out that THE LIFE OF PI is not a work of fiction.

OddD said...

At 3.5 million copies, why should he care? Go Ask Alice.

Steve Donohue said...

Between Kevin Trudeau's medical fantasy and this book, fictional non-fiction books spent 39 weeks on the NYT non-fiction best-seller list (and other best-seller lists as well) in 2005, several of those weeks in the top position.

It seems the recently departed year was an especially good one for shucksters and con artists.

Elizabeth said...

Go Ask Alice! Blast from my tortured teenage past.

Casper said...
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Finn Kristiansen said...

(Deleted the above post as I was not signed in on my normal blog name, but my work blog name Casper). So below, my comments:


I find these things incredibly annoying. People write these memoirs, and fill them to the brim with hardcore living and fanciful events in an effort to create drama and demand. We had the memoir by the woman who slept with her father, and the one by some French dancer on the joys of anal sex. A race to the fantastic.

Meanwhile, someone with a legitimate story is not getting their book sold, while actors, publishers, agents and fools prance around the J.T. Leroy's of the world.

On top of that you have the utterly stupid fans, who say things like:
(from the NY Times article)

"Even if his story is fake, he opened up the eyes of so many people. How about if we all focus on that instead of accusing him of being a liar?"

How about, HE LIED!

If you are writing a book with a seemingly powerful message, or a tale of redemption or struggle, then it kind of kills the message the minute the facts become untrue.

It's kinda like those people who say, "Well, it's okay if Jesus is just a guy right? He still said some groovy stuff."

Yea true, but he's also an idiot then with that father up in heaven nonsense and "this day you will sit by me in paradise". Truth, in memoirs, is essential.

It's like reading a Holocaust memoir, and then discovering the author is like, twenty years old, and then some fan says, "Yes, but, wow, it still moved me to tears when he faced German terror, whether it really happened or not".

Blah, blah, blah, shut up!

knoxgirl said...

I guess once you start thinking about it, this has happened before... a LOT. I remember the book/movie "Sleepers" causing controversy because somebody looked into it and couldn't find a murder or trial that matched the circumstances of those in his story. And supposedly "Fargo" was quickly outed as fiction, not based on actual events, like it says at the beginning of the movie.

The whole fiction-as-fact thing was done brilliantly for the "Blair Witch Project." At the time, I knew some people who were freaked out because they really thought it was documentary footage...