L.A. Weekly has apparently uncovered
another author whose memoirs are fake. This time though instead of making up certain events, a la James Frey, L.A. Weekly says the prize-winning Native American writer who calls himself Nasdijj is really Tim Barrus, a white writer of gay erotica. Whether or not these allegations are true, remains to be seen. L.A. Weekly's piece gives good reason to think Nasdijj is Barrus, but not as clear cut as the Smoking Gun's report
on Frey. If the story is accurate, I think the publishing industry is going to have to do some due diligence when it comes to accepting memoirs.
I've wondered if this controversy is going to affect my ability to sell my own memoir. I'm not worried about an agent or publisher doing some background work on mine to confirm the story for I have nothing to hide. My concern is that the publishing industry is going to stop accepting as many memoirs so they don't continually look like dopes when their celebrated authors turn out to be nothing more than frauds.
And not to beat this subject to death but apparently on today's Oprah Winfrey show Oprah is going to openly regret her phone call to Larry King in defense of James Frey and his highly embellished memoir A Million Little Pieces. According to those who have seen today's feed to stations, Oprah said "The truth matters. My judgment was clouded."
Two weeks ago I wrote that it was a bad idea for Oprah to defend a liar. I'm glad she's come to her senses.