One day; two literary frauds
I enjoyed the fact that, more or less on the same day, I read two stories about the literary establishment being taken in by people who took the establishment's fascination with the weird, the debauched, and the decayed, and used it to con the literary and pseudo-literary world big-time. The first story is that:
An investigative Web site has alleged that James Frey's best-selling memoir about substance abuse, "A Million Little Pieces," wildly exaggerates his past, with inflated claims about his criminal record and about his involvement in an accident that killed two high school students.You can read a whole lot more about it here, at Flopping Aces, and here, at the NYT. The second story is that JT Leroy, who rose to fame writing "autobiographical" novels about his days as a transvestite hooker (or something sleazy like that) is, in fact, a 40 year old woman who works in the rock music business. I guess it's easy to fool a credulous "sophisticated" audience that is anxious to wallow in depravity.