Thursday, January 12, 2006

Literary Fraud

"The book is about drug addiction and alcoholism," he said. "The emotional truth is there."

- From James Frey, the discredited author of A Million Little Pieces, the Oprah Winfrey book selection that became a best seller based upon her endorsement.

She is still defending Frey in a "surprise phone call to CNN's Larry King" who happened to be interviewing Frey.

The publisher, Random House, however, is convinced it is a fraud. They are offering "unprecedented" refunds to readers who bought the book from them, according to the Washington Post and Reuters. A Financial Times story says Random House denied they were offering refunds. A day later, Reuters is still reporting, despite Oprah Winfrey's support on Larry King, that Random House is giving refunds to those who bought the book directly from the publishing house.

This is not the first literary fraud. JT LeRoy, supposedly a fragile HIV-positive teen prostitute, turns out to have been a 40-year-old woman named Laura Albert with an active imagination. Only Laura Albert doesn't have Larry King and Oprah Winfrey fronting for her.

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