Mar 26, 2008 9:17 AM | 2
In January of 2006, a scandal erupted that everyone in the media from the Smoking Gun to Oprah was fuming about -- the liberties James Frey took in writing his nonfiction memoir, A Million Little Pieces. At the time, it was discovered that Mr. Frey had fabricated much of his criminal history as described in the novel, and fictionalized people, places and things throughout. So we decided to reclassify the book as fiction, and shelved the issue.
But recently, this same controversy has occurred and other authors, including Misha Defonseca, Margaret P. Jones (AKA Margaret Seltzer) and Ishmael Beah have been questioned about the veracity of their memoirs in The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Village Voice, among others.
As a non-fiction buff, I read to learn the truth about history, and the people and places in it. Discovering that some of this nonfiction is anything but makes me think twice about reading a title. Although after the myriad articles, stories and a million little pieces about Frey, his book still sold. So ultimately, it will be interesting to see if this "outing" hurts these new authors, or helps them.