Thursday, January 26, 2006

does the truth matter?

Best selling author James Frey has gotten busted for wildly exaggerating portions of his memoir, "A Million Little Pieces."

Click here for the article

At the same time, it was discovered that JT Leroy, who wrote a memoir about being a teenage male hooker, is actually a middle aged woman with middle class roots.

Click here for the article

Does the truth matter when it comes to memoirs? Knowing that "A Million Little Pieces" is not all true, is it still a strong piece of work? What about JT Leroy's "memoir?" Can it still hold it's own as a fictional work?

Also, how accountable should authors be in writing their memoirs? They aren't journalists. But should they be accountable?

-Jean Chen


At 7:45 PM, Blogger fabumisskbw said...

A memoir is not bound by the same rules as journalism. Most of the people that upset about the book are just mindless followers and it is a shame that people can even take responsibilty for the things they read. If this book wasn't mentioned on Oprah, nobody would've cared if it was real or fake.

At 1:50 AM, Anonymous joey said...

I think "Leroy's" books don't really fit in the same category as Frey's. For one, they never claimed to be factual in any but the most superficial way. A novel is not a memoir regardless of how autobiographical it may be.

While it was a betrayal of fans and defenders, her unmasking doesn't really change the quality of the books themselves, and actually I think it's rather sad that the felt they needed to resort to these shock tactics to get published.

As for Frey...he's a pathetic rehab-failure who's not even an especially good writer. As far as the books themselves go, there is no comparison.


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