Friday, January 27, 2006


Three days, no comments. How depressing.

What do you want to read about? It can't STILL be James Frey, can it? Yes? Really? (yeah, me too)

OK, here's what I have to say about it. James Frey is a wildly talented writer. James Frey wrote a novel based on his life. Editors didn't bite. Then the work was presented as a memoir. People went batshit crazy. NYT bestseller and, of course, the seal from the big O. Praise, money, glory, fame, money, respect, money, money, money. Smoking Gun. Larry King. Oprah stood by her author-man. People went batshit crazy. Oprah, shall we say, reconsidered her stand. Oprah televised the castration of her author-man.

Now, I'll admit I was so so so caught up in the hype. Frey's writing style was so appealing to me, it read like good music sounds. James Frey was my literary it boy crush. I emailed him through his publisher and he emailed me back--a number of times. As I read his brief replies, my eyes were replaced with little hearts. He encouraged me in my quest for authorhood. I recommended his book more times than I can count. Hearts in my eyes.

When all the hoo-ha broke about the lies, the deception, the man who conned Oprah, I was crushed. By my crush. Ow, my heart. (At least I had my eyes back.) I wasn't angry for long. . .I became fascinated. And so began the very public stoning of James Frey. I watched Larry King, hopeful for some answers. Nada. Rehearsed bullshit and a doe-eyed man with a soft, almost whiny voice that couldn't possibly belong to my badass fake literary boyfriend. Could it?

Oh the glorious schaudenfraude of it all. For one brief moment, I admit, I gloated. That's what you get for lying to me, Mister. But soon, I only felt sad. What a clusterfuck. Everyone is disillusioned: Readers feel cheated, writers are anxious. Publishers, editors and agents are. . .well, who the hell knows what they're thinking.

To me, it all comes down to one little missing piece. (Leaving 999,999, for those keeping track.) What happened between "James Frey wrote a novel based on his life" and "then the work was presented the work as a memoir"?

Until I know that, I've decided, I'm not quite ready to end this fake love affair. Sure, the writer/journalist in me is glad the Smoking Gun broke the story. But the reader/swooning girl in me wants hearts where her eyes should be.



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