Thursday, January 26, 2006

Oprah: "I've never been in this position before"

I would hate to get taken to the woodshed by Oprah.

Author James Frey confessed to Oprah Winfrey on Thursday that he made up details about every character in his memoir "A Million Little Pieces" and the talk show host apologized to her viewers, saying she felt "duped."
In 19 years in television "I've never been in this position before," said Winfrey, whose praise for Frey's book in September helped make it the top-selling book on nonfiction lists in the United States last year. "I really feel duped," Winfrey told Frey on her television show. She said he had betrayed millions of viewers.
Oprah went on to say she regretted making a call to defend Frey on Larry King Live during an appearance by the author on Jan. 11. When Oprah asked Frey if accusations made by the Smoking Gun were correct, he replied, "I think most of what they wrote was pretty accurate," adding they did "a good job." [source]

As I said before, we'd probably be surprised to learn exactly how much fiction makes its way into most memoirs. And in fact memoir, unlike biography is not meant to be taken as hard fact. The New York Post reports that Possible Side Effects, the latest book by Running With Scissors author Augusten Burroughs will now carry a disclaimer about its factual content. Some have suggested this is overkill, and while I agree to an extent, Frey did up the ante by going on talk shows and trying to style himself into some sort of self-help guru.

Tomorrow, the cast and crew of Brokeback Mountain will be on Oprah. I wonder if any confessions will be made during this episode.


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