First Video of Fabricating Holocaust Author Defending Self

Ryan Tate · 02/17/09 10:08PM

A plugged-in tipster directed us to the freshly-uploaded YouTube video above, in which Rosenblat speaks to an unseen interviewer. He could be talking to a GMA producer in a pre-interview, doing media training with a publicist, who knows. (The video is carried in a YouTube channel named after Rosenblat, although the title of this video curiously misspells his last name.)

Lying Holocaust Author To Turn Novelist

Ryan Tate · 01/08/09 06:19AM

Capitalizing on Herman Rosenblat's infamy, a small upstate publisher eagerly trumpeted its "serious discussion" to publish Rosenblat's fake memoir as fiction. Or "to pull a Frey," in industry lingo.

James Frey on the Picket Line: A Short Scene

Sheila · 05/21/08 09:11AM

Now that James Frey is shilling his new novel, a screenwriter who walked the picket line during last fall's strike wrote in to share his experience with Frey, who "showed up to carry a sign and (I suspect) generally be seen. A female writer saw him and truly didn't recognize him at all. Here was the exchange that happened..."

The NYT Loves James Frey's New Book

Sheila · 05/12/08 12:37PM

We haven't read it yet (somebody please send!), but the NYT has totally fallen in love with reformed lying-memoirst James Frey's Bright Shiny Morning, set in Los Angeles. Times critic Janet Maslin writes, "His publisher called it a dazzling tour de force. (Look, somebody had to, if only to create a comeback drama)... But that wasn't so far off the mark..." It's the "captivating urban kaleidoscope that, most recently, Charles Bock's 'Beautiful Children' was supposed to be." And what else?

James Frey Didn't Even Want To Publish A Million Little Pieces as Nonfiction

Sheila · 04/29/08 12:22PM

James Frey is doing just one interview for his new novel, Bright Shiny Morning, and it's with Vanity Fair. Writer Evgenia Peretz tries to get to the bottom of what exactly happened with that whole fake-memoir scandal of his last book, which caused him to be ritually flensed on Oprah. "During the publishing process, Frey, it seems, still had some misgivings about putting the book out there as a memoir." Is there usually so much sturm und drang about putting out a memoir? If it's true it's a memoir and if not it's fiction, right? We're sort of tired of debating the mechanics of it at this point, but apparently it's just not that simple.

Stephanie Klein Sells Self Down The River

Rebecca · 03/28/08 10:44AM

Sixth grade: No one looked good. In promotion of her new book, Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp, notably redheaded blogger Stephanie Klein recounts some of her most awkward moments. (She used to look weird, you know.) In the clip after the jump, she shows a forged note from a childhood's crush claiming he's in love with her. Looks like we found our next Margaret Seltzer!

How to Fact-Check a Scandalous Memoir, Offend Your Friends

Sheila · 03/25/08 10:20AM

In the Guardian, Tom Sykes, author of addiction memoir What Did I Do Last Night?, tells us how his publisher, along with a lawyer, made him fact-check his memoir: by sending the manuscript to everyone mentioned, including his drug dealer! Some of these people, while accurately described, were pissed. Especially Chris Wilson, formerly of Page Six and currently of Maxim!

Gangsta Love

Sheila · 03/24/08 08:36AM

We finally got around to reading the fake gang memoir, Margaret Seltzer's Love and Consequences. While we agree with the NYT's Michiko Kakutani's assesment ("self-consciously novelistic"), we thought there was one line worth sharing: "He leaned over and gently kissed me... his lips tasted like Olde English and chronic smoke." Word up!

What If Your (True) Memoir is So Good That Nobody Believes It?

Sheila · 03/12/08 03:55PM

Regarding the fake memoir crisis, and its effect on budding writers: sometimes, your life, or the lives that touch yours, are so "bafflingly fucked" that the only thing to do is write about it. After the jump, two memoirists (one published, one not) with Dickensian backgrounds talk about the Frey/Leroy/Seltzer clusterfuck that conspired to cast doubt on their stories. (One way to prove that your homeless memoir is true? Dump memorabilia from your years as a waif on their desks!)

Fake Memoirists Ruining it For Everybody Else, Naturally

Sheila · 03/12/08 01:32PM

We want your stories about how fake memoirists are messing up your damn writing career! Here, we have the tale of a young surgical resident whose operating-table narrative is being held back "in this current climate." "Thank goodness I've got a fondness for amber liquors," he adds. What's up, Doc?

Fake Writers: Gotta Catch 'Em All!

Sheila · 03/08/08 12:08PM

The NYT's Motoko Rich helpfully rounds up all the offenders in the fake-memoir trend. Valley Girl gang-pretender Margaret Seltzer, James Frey, and Laura Albert (aka JT Leroy) are only the tip of the iceberg: "The history of literary fakers stretches far, far back, at least to the 19th century, when a slave narrative published in 1863 by Archy Moore was revealed as a novel written by a white historian, Richard Hildreth..." Meanwhile, Slate wonders, in reponse to Seltzer's claim to be part Native American, "Why do writers pretend to be Indians?" Apparently this, too, is a trend. In related news, As well, the gang-violence-reduction foundation that Seltzer claimed to have founded, called Brother/SisterHood, is now thought to be fake.