One More Bit about James Frey
I wrote on January 29,
Meanwhile, the author claims he originally submitted it as fiction, the publisher--no tiny little outfit but Doubleday, one of the biggest in the nation--first called in creative nonfiction and when that didn't fly, said that Frey had hoodwinked them.
It would be very illuminating to see Frey's original book proposal and see where the truth lies. Meanwhile, the thing stinks.
Yesterday, Publshers Weekly interviewed Frey's agent, Kassie Evashevski, who had this to say:
I think the confusion over fiction vs. nonfiction may stem from the fact that early in the submission process, James raised the issue of whether he could publish it as an autobiographical novel--ONLY, he said, to spare his family undue embarrassment, NOT because it wasn't true. I told him I would bring it up with a few publishers, which I did, and the response was unanimous:if the book is true, it should be published as a memoir.
James personally explained to his editor that the events depicted in the book took place as described.Based on the information given us by the author, [editor] Sean McDonald and [publisher] Nan Talese believed in good faith they were buying a memoir, just as I believed I was selling them one.
I guess the only way we'll know for certain is if someone can turn up his original correspondence--but of course, even that will have to be scrutinized, as in this case, it would be all-too-easy to pull the kind of faked-memo shenanigans that got Dan Rather in so much trouble back in '04.