What did you think of the interview between Oprah and James Frey? James Frey is the guy who wrote A Million Little Pieces, sold it as a memoir, appeared on Oprah and was then exposed as fictionalizing part of it. Oprah praised the book, defended James, then ultimately came down on him hard. Too hard, I thought. I didn’t like who Oprah was that day. She humiliated him and his life went into a downward spiral.
Now he’s written a new book, and Oprah had him on two days in a row! She realized too late what a bitch she had been to him. I was captured by his honesty and by his generous spirit. I feel a little bit like a gossip girl here,but in his third book, Bright Shiny Morning, he had an Oprah-like character who called him and told him she was sorry for ripping him to shreds on television. In his novel he said he had the recording of that apology that included some other personal things the star didn’t want the pubic to know. He said he had that recording, intending to do nothing with it, but he had it.
So yesterday Oprah talks about the call she made to James, the call sounds like the one he talks about in Bright Shiny Morning. But they never referred to the novel. I wonder if Oprah read BSM. She had to know about the section of the novel, at least. Someone would tell her that.
Impressed with Oprah, too, thought it was brave of her to admit her ego was raging as they taped that second show years ago when she gave him a ruthless public whipping for lying. Oprah doesn’t understand writers if she doesn’t get that we tell stories and sometimes we embellish the truth. A lot. Most first novels are fictionalized, thinly veiled, autobiography. Most memoirs make stuff up. Memory is famously faulty and nobody remembers dialogue word for word.
I am so glad to see James Frey thriving and have already started his new book about how the Messiah or Jesus would come into our world today. The Final Testament of the Holy Bible is fascinating and bound to cause a stir. Frey works outside of mainstream publishing today and he loves it. He says he feels free. And that Oprah, by dissing him on national television, helped make that freedom happen.