Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I've never found two new entries for the Authors Behaving Badly file in one day, especially writers with the names Vice and Frey (and wouldn't that make a good cop show title?)

Anyway, Oprah, I think you've been hustled.


  1. Last night NPR had a report about JT LeRoy, a YA writer who was supposed to be a hip young ex-street boy. Turns out the mysterious LeRoy is probably a woman in her 40s.


    Hmmm. Not me.
    *squints at pbackwriter*

    Oh, I actually read the thing and it says that the middle-aged female author is also described as "a rock-star"

    Never mind.

  2. What a detestable little man.

  3. They had this guy doing interviews?

    "I was in jail a bunch of times."

    I couldn't listen to that. I hope the book (I never read it) had a really great editor.

  4. Judging from the excerpts...no.

  5. I'm still laughing about Oprah getting hustled. Bwaahahahaha!

  6. Anonymous3:17 PM

    I think writers who do this should come up with the "Drive-By Channeling" defense: "I was writing,and suddenly an entity took hold and I channeled this other person who began writing about their lives, their stories. It was a very spiritual experience."

  7. I suppose if he would've said right from the start that it was mostly fiction he wouldn't have sold nearly as many books.

  8. I read the excerpt on Oprah's site, and it seems to me that his deception is material because nobody would buy his book if it weren't true, and sensational.

    He is an awful writer. And his swill has been through an editor.

  9. Anonymous6:22 PM

    At least when I make stuff up I call it fiction. ;)

  10. uhm, I read the book when it first came out ( 2 yrs ago?)and loved it--including the unconventional/ stylistic grammar. The fact that the author is now revealed as a liar hasn't changed my opinion of the book itself, which I thought it had some of the most gut wrenching/raw emotional moments I've ever read.

  11. Anonymous8:07 AM

    I saw something on this last night on the news, and I just rolled my eyes. If you're going to write fiction, call it fiction. No one ever said fiction couldn't be "gut-wrenching" or keep you awake all night, desperate to read (I've had a lot of books do that to me). I think it says more if you can really reach someone through fiction than prettying up a sob story. Powerful messages don't have to be confined to the non-fiction section. And, really, don't lie and say something is true - you will always get caught; too many people live for catching the famous in a lie.

    I saw an excerpt of the book, and that was enough. It was wretched, and there was no way I was buying a book (not that I read "non-fiction"). I did make sure to note the editor's name so I'd never get involved with anything he did. ^-*

  12. Anonymous3:21 PM

    Carter -

    Felons do have the right to petition to have their records expunged, and judges hear those petitions and honor some. States vary in terms of what offenses can be erased from one's record. Usually a certain period of time must have passed and the petitioner must show evidence of having turned away from a life of crime.

  13. Anonymous10:43 PM

    Poor Oprah, first Fanzen and now Frey, always getting burned by living writers. Maybe she'll go back to classics again.

    I don't know where the trend began, but biographies can no longer tell the story of an interesting life. Everything needs a clever gimmick or a shocking hook. Publishing seems to be doing to non-fiction what television has done with the news: focused on the entertainment value over factual reportage.

    As a general rule I avoid biographies of people who are noted for the biography they have just written. It's one stepped removed from vanity press to me and, honestly, I have yet to read one that didn't leave me cold.

  14. Anonymous10:57 PM

    As a general rule I avoid biographies of people who are noted for the biography they have just written. It's one stepped removed from vanity press to me and, honestly, I have yet to read one that didn't leave me cold.

    That's interesting. I haven't read any bios of modern (my lifetime) figures that I can think of, and I never read autobios for the same reason you do. Biographies of historical figures are sometimes interesting, but even those can be distorted by the author's opinions.

  15. Anonymous8:10 AM

    Here's my take on the whole Oprah Book Club thing...



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