I Was a Teenage Literary Hoax

Famous authors who are, uh, not what they seem...

January 9, 2006

1 Min Read
I Was a Teenage Literary Hoax

9:45 PM -- On the heels of The New York Times' JT Leroy unmasking (which only followed New York magazine's scoop on that supposedly transgendered, formerly heroin addicted, ex-truck-stop prostitute who turned out, surprise surprise, to be a 40-something female writer by, oh, three months) comes the news that James Frey, author of the best-selling memoir A Million Little Pieces, is, uh, not what he claims to be.

Frey may or may not have been a drug addict, notes The Smoking Gun, but he sure as hell was not the hardened criminal he portrays himself as in AMLP and its sequel, My Friend Leonard. The account of Frey's fencing with the Smoking Gun truth-squad is almost as riveting as Frey's apparently fictionalized bouts with police officers and one randy French priest.

The remarkable thing about these literary frauds is how eagerly gullible the N.Y. literati are to swallow such implausible tales whole. I mean, the so-called JT Leroy (actually, a starhound and would-be celebrity fiction writer named Laura Arnold) had been pulling off this obvious charade for years.

And, in case you're wondering, before joining Unstrung, I was a crystal meth-addicted bagman for the New Orleans mob who fathered an illegitimate child by Avril Lavigne.

— Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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