Final Frey post

Michiko Kakutani contends that the Frey revelations “underscore the waning importance people these days attach to objectivity and veracity.”

Mr. Frey’s embellishments of the truth, his cavalier assertion that the “writer of a memoir is retailing a subjective story,” his casual attitude about how people remember the past — all stand in shocking contrast to the apprehension of memory as a sacred act that is embodied in Oprah Winfrey’s new selection for her book club, announced yesterday: Night, Elie Wiesel’s devastating 1960 account of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

Also:

  • A mother of two has “filed suit in a Cook County, Illinois, court against the book’s publishers, alleging consumer fraud.”
  • I have read this article about “James Frey’s messy story” five times and still have no idea what the point is.
  • Author Tim Hall insists his novel is mostly fiction, despite similarities to real life.
  • And, an update (1/18): Sheelah Kolhatkar talks with Nan Talese, Frey’s original publisher, who denies that the book was originally submitted as fiction. Also asked for comment on the controversy, Tom Wolfe tells Kolhatkar: “George Orwell, probably back in the 1950’s, wrote that autobiography is the most outrageous form of fiction. It always has been, and probably always will be, and usually there’s no blogger to catch them,” said Mr. Wolfe. “It has nothing to do with the New Journalism…. I mean, if it’s gonna be called ‘nonfiction,’ I don’t think there should be any doubt about it.”

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