Carole Radziwill, the author of What Remains -- is guest blogging at Powells.com this week and even she – she who was married to a son of a prince or a duke and was related to John Kennedy and Carolyn Bessette and writes about the death of all three – whimpers about the treatment she got on Oprah. Her blog entry is actually very funny. No pretentiousness here:
“Two things happened last September — one anticipated by millions of submissive book buyers, and one anticipated by me.
The first? Oprah Winfrey promised to endorse live writers again, after a three-year commitment to the dead ones. The second? Oprah invited me to be on her show! One morning, producers at Harpo called. "We loved your book," they said. "Oprah couldn't put it down," they said. "She thought it was beautiful, well-written, gracefully done," they said. Oh my God, my little inner voice squeaked. Oh my God, oh my God!
She's asking me, me, me and my book to be on her show! Suddenly my agent was returning my calls! My publisher was picking up the lunch tab!
I obsessed for 10 days on my outfit. I obsessed for 10 days on what I'd say. I borrowed sparkly earrings. I thought up smart things. I had imaginary conversations with Oprah in my apartment. "Well, in the end, it's just old-fashioned hard work," I said. "What writers inspire you?" Imaginary Oprah asked, and "Tell us about the themes and the metaphors you weave into the delicate tapestry that is your work." We laughed and hugged. Oh, the world was fine.
And then on September 22th, I was hustled through Harpo security into a cozy room with mangoes and green tea. They brushed my hair, they puffed my lips, they lifted my cheekbones, somehow, half an inch, and then threw me out. Onto the brand new set, the brand new couch, the Wizard of Oprah perched at one end. Then click, we're on.
"Blah, blah, blah John?" she asked me. "Blah, blah, John, blah," she said. "John, John, marriage, Kennedy, John," she exclaimed very seriously. "My memoir is about me, I thought to myself, and my Grandma Millie and my mother and my husband and Gigi my dog! It's about my career and traipsing in Cambodian jungles" "Blah, blah, blah, John, John, Kennedy, John," she replied.
During the commercial break, Oprah said, "Your legs are very shiny." "Thank you," I replied. Shiny? Shiny? What the hell does that mean? Does Oprah like shiny legs? Do shiny legs sell books? I couldn't think of another damn thing the whole interview. All that time I wasted self-obsessing when I should have been fabricating! "Well, your people put lotion on them," I mumbled limply.
Three days later the show aired, my story met up with (fleeting) infamy. Because Oprah picked my show to be the one she'd plug another writer. My show was the one she picked to breathlessly plug another book.
You see, I had the unique opportunity of being the author invited by Oprah to talk about my book, on the exact same show that she announced James Frey.
Me and my new book and my shiny legs were all whisked off the set.
Dammit! I thought, a million little ringing sounds in my ears. I could barely remember what I'd even written over the roar. I stumbled into the harsh glare of early light...what the hell just happened in there? I ran to check my Amazon rank.
It's just too easy. "
And Tom Zeller of the New York Times trolls the web and finds people who years ago doubted James Frey’s book.