Nan Talese was apparently taken by surprise when she appeared on Oprah. She thought she was there to talk about “truth” in general, not her client, James Frey.
Frey’s agent has dropped him.
His contrite author’s note, which will appear in all new editions of A Million Little Pieces, is here:
"During the process of writing the book, I embellished many details about my past experiences, and altered others in order to serve what I felt was the greater purpose of the book. I sincerely apologize to those readers who have been disappointed by my actions...."
"As I wrote, I worked primarily from memory. I also used supporting documents, such as medical records, therapists' notes, and personal journals, when I had them, and when they were relevant...."
"I altered events and details all the way through the book. Some of those include my role in a train accident that killed a girl from my school. While I was not, in real-life, directly involved in the accident, I was profoundly affected by it. Others involved jail time I served, which in the book is three months, but which in reality was only several hours, and certain criminal events, including an arrest in Ohio, which was embellished. There has been much discussion, and dispute, about a scene in the book involving a root-canal procedure that takes place without anesthesia. I wrote that passage from memory, and have medical records that seem to support it. My account has been questioned by the treatment facility, and they believe my memory may be flawed...."
"I made other alterations in my portrayal of myself, most of which portrayed me in ways that made me tougher and more daring and more aggressive than in reality I was, or I am.... My mistake, and it is one I deeply regret, is writing about the person I created in my mind to help me cope, and not the person who went through the experience."
NOW THAT everyone is getting flogged publicly, Ellen Emry Heltzel raises the question whether there is a conflict of interest when a journalist has a book deal? In an article provocatively titled “Another Thing Rotten in Bookland: Reporters by Day/Book-Floggers by Night “ she questions how reporters/authors treat their information. Where is the juiciest information first released? In the newspaper or on television or in the book? Is it seemly to promote your own product on your news show?