Thursday, January 26, 2006

Oprah and James Frey

Oprah is going to feature James Frey again. Why she is so agressively publicising James Frey? Steve Johnson on Hypertext writes:

Will she, on her show, with time to reflect, be a more staunch defender of truth, or at least of the idea that a good memoirist strives for truth even when embellishment would be more salable? I sincerely hope so, or at least that the panel's promised "leading journalists" will be allowed to make the case.

I fear, though, that this will provide still more whitewash on a dirty fence, more pabulum of the if-the-book-helped-one-person variety. (And never mind about all those it leaves feeling cheated and more lost than ever.)

James Frey's publisher Doubleday offers witnesses to NY Times to prove the accuracy of most parts of the book. These witnesses told NY Times that Frey's treatment descriptions in the book 'A Million Little Peices' are near to accurate but they didn't agree about Frey appearing with a hole in his cheek or the violent fights among patients.

Writer Jamie Berger has a whole blog devoted on this topic, 'Memoir is not Fiction'. He points out this interesting article from LA Weekly.

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