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Give me a break. I don't think anyone is saying you can't write about your life and describe it as you remember it. This guy made things up....that is not a memoir (at least not what most of the people who bought the book think a memoir is...that is why there is such an uproar). If you make it's fiction. If it is non-fiction, then it is not something you made up. if you want to extrapolate to make it more interesting, just sell it as fiction (and put on the jacket that it is based on a true story). This does not prevent any writer from writing whatever they want. The discussion is about how you sell it. That is a healthy discussion (even if it makes writers like you it is not a new topic of discussion).



Yes, I am being a little disengenious. I get that he dupped people and they're rightfully pissed off.

Apparently, after failing to sell the book as fiction, Frey "tweaked" it into non-fiction.

But, the whole truth-in-writing thing does touch a nerve for me. Most fiction contains lots of universal truths, while non-fiction is built with subjective, malleable info to support the writer' point.

I've got an old joke: Nonfiction or journalism forces you to lie, while fiction forces you to tell the truth. Writing is blurry that way, and I think it's important to acknowledge that.

Meanwhile, looks Nan Talese and Doubleday definitely know how to sell this: It's No. 1 book on Amazon.


The only reason this even became such a big deal in the first place is because he lied straight to Oprah's face.
If he'd told everyone that he exaggerated some parts, none of this would have blown up in his face.


I really don't get why this whole thing is such a big deal.

Every book ever written was embellished. BFD. This is not the scaaaaaaaandal everyone things it is. There a million better things to worry about. Pah-lease!

Mr. Viddy

The only reason that it became such a big deal was because Oprah found herself in hot water over her call into Larry King supporting James Frey. When the press began to turn on her she had to do a quick about face in order to put herself in a positive light.


I saw the show and thought that James got a skewering,too. I have to give him some credit for having the huevos to go on Oprah and get nailed the way he did...I did feel kinda sorry for him. But, I definitely agree w/SoOverIt!

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