But, really, who are we kidding? This has been bugging the crap out of me. James Frey. Oprah Winfrey. A Million Little Pieces.
I keep thinking if I talk about that lying little sack of poo, it only serves to give him more publicity. I read the first few chapters of the book weeks and weeks ago (before all the hoopla), and found it to be poorly written and ill-conceived, even for a memoir. As a work of fiction, it's like a bad rip-off of Go Ask Alice.
I have been stewing about it for a couple of weeks. The talk all over my MFA program forums is frightening. "Beautiful, man. He was totally playing with genre." And (from an instructor, no less), "What difference does it make? Everybody lies." And from the fiction writers: "Gee, golly, but we make shit up all the time." You're FICTION writers, you idiots!!!! The moral turpitude that is alive and well and living in the American literary community is breathtaking. No wonder this generation's literary claims to fame are the Jayson Blairs and the Judith Millers and the James Freys of the world. One creative non-fiction instructor, Hope Edelman, redeemed the entire program for me, though, with her post on Huffington Post.
But I found a website that has given me an outlet for my anger. It's called James Frey Owes Me Money. I wrote my letter to James last night, and we'll see if it makes the cut there. If it does, I'll link to it here. If it doesn't, I'll post the whole thing. Not all the posts are anti-Frey, but there are enough there to make me realize that I am not alone in the world. People out there do recognize that he is a liar and a fraud and an otherwise not-nice human being, and aren't afraid to tell him so in public.
So, keep your fingers crossed that my letter makes the site, so I can finally have some closure.
Update: My letter to James was indeed posted on the website, and here's the link.