Author James Frey faces Oprah Winfrey for the first time in five years as one of her most memorable guests during a two part appearance this week.
]]>Jack Kerouac and Henry Miller.
“These were writers who wrote books about their own lives in some way,
but they tried to make art out of what they lived. I don’t think they
were concerned about ‘Is this fact or is this not, is this fiction or
non fiction?’ They were just trying to tell a story in the best way they
could and in a way that made sense to them.”
Alas, he couldn’t sell the book as a novel. The offer came to publish it as a memoir and Frey accepted. After the controversy went down, Frey’s family retreated to France but
the author hardly believes he’s the first to commit such sins.
“I don’t have a whole lot of respect for the genre.” he says of
memoirs. “I think most writers of memoirs, and this is a very unpopular
statement, do what I did. I think when you’re trying to tell a story
and write a book, you manipulate things. You embellish things, you
fabricate things, you play around with things to tell the best story you
When Oprah asks whether or not Frey felt that the backlash was deserved,
he tells her that “I thought I got ambushed, absolutely.” But adds that
“I made a mistake and at a certain point it came time to pay for it.
And I paid for it.”
The public is generally split on whether the backlash is deserved, but Frey insists that he only meant well with the book.
“I was trying to write a book that might help people,” he says. “I
always hoped that the book would help people who were addicts or help
the family members or friends of addicts, that it would give them a
different way to think about it.” Something that Oprah acknowledges was a
Tune in tomorrow for another full hour with the author, during which
Oprah herself will acknowledge her own mistakes and regrets from that
interview in 2006.