1.31.2006

James Frey's Agent Surfaces!

Yes, but the real question: is she giving up her 15%?


In an exclusive interview with Publishers Weekly editor Sara Nelson, James Frey's agent says basically she never shopped it as a novel, she believed every word, and of course "now that the trust is broken" she "can't possibly represent him anymore".

I'd be guffawing only slightly less if she'd accompanied that statement with 1. a check refunding all her commission money 2. a notarized revocation of her interest in future royalties; 3. she'd actually fessed up to some introspection about the demarcation lines of "fiction based on a true story/memoir/novel"

This is hogwash. She's leaving the sinking ship as fast as she can crank the lifeboat and avoid being eaten by the feeding frenzy of sharks. The fact that there's no more money to be made probably made the decision only quicker (Frey's film deal is pretty much toast now).

Broken trust my Aunt Fanny. WE KNEW. Everyone knew. You can't read that book and NOT know. The only thing that changed was that after The Smoking Gun posted the results of their fact finding mission, people started talking about it publicly. (well, I was but it was early days of the blog before anyone was really paying attention except Sarah Weinman and Peter Winkler).

This is almost enough for me to feel sorry for James Frey. Well, I'll feel sorry for him right up until he signs with Andrew Wylie. Then I'll go back to thinking he's an arrogant nitwit.

9 comments:

That Girl Who Writes Stuff said...

What would happen if someone could prove she knew?

Would that change anything?

Mark said...

Well no wonder Peter wants everyone to stop talking about it, as he pleads on agent 007's. He's been at it the longest. It bears repeating though. Fry this guy until he's really done.

susanna said...

So - if James Frey's books are returned, does he owe the publisher his royalties back? And, if he has to pay back money would his agent bear the brunt also?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Snicker!!!! Snort![Andrew Wylie, et. al. v. common sense, Court of the Queen's Bench]. He he he. Oh my oh my. Can you tell I exchanged emails with that agency? What fun. After you figure out what language they use to write their emails, you can laugh.

Bill E. Goat reads over my shoulder.

Bill E.: Who's that from?

Me: A purist would say, "From whom is that?" But since neither you nor I are . . . Well, its from an agent of sorts.

Bill E.: So, what language is that? You trying to sell your book in Sovakia?

Me: No, Bill. It's English. I think.

Bill E: It is?

Me: Umm humm, I'm pretty sure it is.

Bill E: So, what's he say?

Me: Well, he doesn't like Ann and Victoria much. Or, maybe he just wants a date. I really can't tell.

This IS my night to be on the mean side, isn't it?

Snarkie, dear, I so needed to laugh tonight. Thank you very much.

Maya said...

James Frey was scheduled to speak in Dallas this Friday at a fundraiser for Turtle Creek Manor--a well-respected rehab facility. This is their major fundraising event each year.

Today Turtle Creek announced that Mr. Frey later made a previous engagement (or words to the effect of "Hell, no, I'm not going to Big D. No way!")

Fortunately, the rehab unit found a replacement speaker.

Just another mark against Mr. Frey.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any recovery memoirs and I didn't read Frey's, so I'm curious about one thing, Miss Snark--

If "everyone" knew, as you say, how come nobody in the publishing house did anything about it?

I mean, is this already accepted industry practice, like so-called Reality TV, which by now everyone knows is staged?

Miss Snark said...

Money.
It's a WHOLE lot easier to pitch memoir, true to life grit to talk shows than "debut fiction".

Anonymous said...

You're kidding, right? He later made a previous engagement?

Feisty said...

I read Frey's comments (apology)being published in his book now.

Was it commonly known that this guy was a film writer? And people wonder why he embellished. Yikes.