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Friday, January 27, 2006

Oprah, what are you doing? You bring James Frey to your show and call him out for fabricating parts of his bestselling book, A Million Little Pieces. I, too, was disappointed when I heard the news that a lot of the book was falsified. But when I gave this some serious thought, and I saw how you were unmercifully tearing Mr. Frey a new a-hole, I thought about how deluded people must be to blow this issue out of proportion. Had the book been published as fiction, Mr. Frey most likely would have fell into the pit of many wannabe fiction writers putting too much of their personal lives into their concoctions and being mis-marketed as creative forces. I personally subscribe to the belief that if a novel-length manuscript has too much real-event truth inside, it should NOT be marketed as fiction at all.

Oprah, I challenge you to investigate MOST memoirs and see how many of them actually adhere to 100% truth. As a writer, I can tell you that a very compelling story requires an embellishment of fact. If you tell your life story, or even a nugget of your existence, you simply cannot go from one point to another and expect to HOLD THE READER'S ATTENTION. Oprah, please remember that you are dealing with the entertainment and publishing industry - an industry that is driven by profit. Not truth. Read Maxine Hong Kingston's memoir "A Woman Warrior" and bring her on stage and ask her about the magic and ghosts she details. I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

Oprah says "It needs to say based on a true story." -- ALL contemporary memoirs should say that as well then.

It just makes me ask, is the real reason you put Mr. Frey on your show to call him out on purported lies, or was it to redeem yourself for awarding him with a boost in sales? I wonder if you would have really gone this far had you not selected him for your book club. Shame.