Friday, January 13, 2006

Literary Fake Out?

I'm still spinning over the fact that JT Leroy, the much hailed writer who wrote sad, intense stories about abuse and prostitution, isn't real. I'm spinning because I met the "guy" when he came to Skylight to promote "his" work. We were all warned that he was highly protective of his identity and wore a blonde wig to conceal himself.

He didn't read his work. Actors and musicians read for him. A bandmember from Nine Inch Nails was one of the readers.

JT LeRoy struck me as a damaged creature and I felt sorry for him. Now, I want to kick him, especially since part of his identity was to make people believe he was HIV positive.

7 comments:

Paul said...

Read Armistead Maupin's "The Night Listener" for a fictionalized version of Maupin's encounter with a boy who is widely believed to be JT's first skam under a different name. Maupin's book is brilliant and when I heard about JT and that he was most likely this previous person as well, I vowed never to read "his" books. Impersonating someone who has AIDS and who was abused is horrible.

Julie Carter said...

Both literary shockers of the week leave me feeling tired and a little depressed. Is this what people need to do to be famous? Is fame worth it?

Ibarionex R. Perello said...

Not the first or the last. In a business that's increasingly being propelled by "personality" rather than the quality of the work, this is and won't be unusual especially when it comes to "memoir" and "non-fiction". It will be interesting to see whether Fey's publisher's justification for the artistic liberties of Fey will fly with other publishers and readers.

Bob Hoeppner said...

I am pleased to say I never heard of the fraudulent bastard(ess).

Cheryl said...

While I try to have a healthy appreciation for prankster-art, pretending you have AIDS and a screwed-up past to get famous is seriously shady. I guess now JT will discover that the flip side of fame is backlash. He'll be like the new Ashlee Simpson.

TV Junkie said...

I could almost forgive this person if there were something more than a lust for fame behind the facade. (ALMOST) But JT (whom I had never heard of before) obviously wasn't looking to send a message or make a point. JT was (and is) a famewhore. That's pathetic. And am I the only one that things JT's sock puppet persona looks like Martha Plimpton?

Jason Phoon said...

I've heard of ghost writers , but this is ridiculous.