James Frey Returns

Disgraced memoirist James Frey is now out with a new novel. Readers will remember that Frey created a scandal when it was discovered that he had made up portions of his best-selling memoir, A Million Little Pieces.

I haven’t read that book but I know that the furor against him was largely driven by envy. He became a famous, wealthy, and best-selling author. And there is no greater sin among the literary rank-and-file than that. Anyone who has read or written a memoir knows that they are filled with fiction. To believe every word is the literal truth is silly. That said, I don’t know enough about that book or the scandal, and it is possible that the whole “memoir” was created from scratch – in which case…booooo!

At any rate, Janet Maslin has given the new novel a good (if not quite clear) review in today’s New York Times. I understand that Frey’s publisher is putting on a full court public relations press for this one.

P.S. Craig Seligman on Bloomberg panned it. Adam Kirsch of the New York Sun slammed it.

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One Response to James Frey Returns

  1. Corina says:

    Frey’s “downfall” came directly from Oprah who can make or break a person. She, not exactly literate in the world of literature, mistakenly believed that the genre of memoir means that everything is true. Not so. She said on her show, and kept repeating it like a stubborn little girl, that the “rules” of the genre should be changes so that if something is labeled as memoir, it is all true. Pretty ridiculous that the genre would be changed because Oprah said so.

    James Frey wrote too incredible memoirs, A Million Little Pieces, and My Friend Leonard. It’s unfortunate that his publisher did not stand by him during the Oprah debacle. If his new novel is half as good as his previous work, it will be more than worth reading (and buying).

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