Things are looking up for publisher Nan Talese: A couple of weeks after James Frey shifted more of the blame for the Million Little Pieces brouhaha onto her namesake imprint, Leon Neyfakh reports that authors including Philip Roth and Jonathan Safran Foer may be joining her list, following their previous editor Janet Silver's new role as Talese's editor-at-large. [Observer]
Hey, reporters out there: here's a good line you can use when those pesky fact-checkers mess with your most colorful and fabricated quotes. Nan Talese, who published James Frey's bogus A Million Little Pieces, has weighed in on the latest literary scandal: "I don't think there is any way you can fact-check every single book. It would be very insulting and divisive in the author-editor relationship."
Asked about the book during a session at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference of the Southwest on Saturday, [Doubleday publisher Nan A.] Talese said her experience with author James Frey had not changed the way she handled memoirs. 'I'm afraid I'm unapologetic of the whole thing,' she said. 'And the only person who should be apologetic is Oprah Winfrey,' who she says exhibited 'fiercely bad manners — you don't stone someone in public, which is just what she did.'
• Publisher Nan Talese says she was tricked into going on Oprah. She had agreed to go on an episode discussing truth in America and how it led to the Frey situation, only to be bombarded by the fiery rage of Harpy McHarpo. Sandbagged or not, at least Talese got her teeth capped before the appearance. [NYO]
• Frey's literary and film agent Kassie Evashevski drops him, leaving him cold, lonely, and representation-less. She ends their relationship on an ominous note: "I suspect we haven't heard the last of James Frey." Well, no kidding — obviously this whole kerfuffle is fodder for his next book. [PW]
• Now everyone's coming clean: "My friend Karl and I did not overdose on a combination of cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy. We shared a bottle of Shiraz and fell asleep watching The Suite Life with Zack and Cody." [Banterist]
If we seem a little groggy this morning, forgive us — we didn't sleep much at all last night, kept awake by the questions running through our head: Did Oprah go too far yesterday with her hard-ass questioning and truth-and-redemption shtick? Is Frey a pathological liar, or just some dude who fucked up? How much is the publishing industry to blame? If it hadn t been a Book Club book, would this be such a big deal? Can a book s worth exist independent of the author s intent? And how did they get all those little sprinkles to stick on that guy s hand?
Now that we're fully into week 2 of Fake Writer Day, it's time for all the weekly publications to play catch-up with their insights on Fake Writer James Frey. Time and Newsweek give us the expected recaps, just vanilla enough for red-state readers who have no idea what the hell is going on. Tom Scocca at the Observer however, has no qualms about flat-out calling James Frey a liar. Which, of course, he is.