Wednesday, February 01, 2006

James Frey, A Million Little Pieces

Poor James Frey. One day he is on top of the world, hanging out with Oprah on her buttery leather couches, enjoying success from his powerful memoir of drug addiction and a stint in rehab. The next thing you know, James has the rug pulled out from under him and he's going on television to defend himself and publicly apologize to the big O.

A memoir would be your own recollection of how things happened to you, how you remembered conversations and people and events. The Smoking Gun pulled up a few factoids that clearly didnt jive with what James penned as factual in A Million Little Pieces. Soon after, Oprah is demanding an apology. You just don't mess with Ms. Winfrey. Although I hold Oprah in high esteem, I wish she didn't make such an enormous deal out of this. Oprah, we're all human and we make mistakes and our memories get foggy and no one is perfect. He didn't set out to hoodwink you or I or any of the millions of people who connected with this amazing book. I wish James admitted off the bat that he took creative license in certain aspects of writing this brilliant novel. James! Why didn't you just say it was based on true events? I wish you had.

I'm wondering if every memoir published from this point forward will feature a disclaimer, protecting both the author and the publishing house. Is this debacle going to change the future of the memoir?

James is being sued in a class action lawsuit, his agent has dropped him after four years of representation and there is no doubt in my mind that this would bring down even the strongest and most confident person.

Who's to blame if there is blame to be cast.. does Jame deserve this house of cards tumbling down around him? Is there anyone on his side here? I am. What are your thoughts?


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