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Random House has published the forthcoming Author’s Note to A Million Little Pieces (PDF) in which James Frey distances himself from his book’s character. It is remarkably pathetic, and reveals The Author, chewed up, spit out; The Author reduced from player to pawn, a rude antithesis of himself. The note attempts to excuse AMLP for its redemptive purpose; the note explains the book as a manifestation of Frey’s recovery; the note insists on the perfunctory appeal that the memoir is subjective in nature. Yet these apologies are sorry attempts to cover by an author who has just discovered himself naked:

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….

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. People cope with adversity in many different ways, ways that are deeply personal. I think one way people cope is by developing a skewed perception of themselves that allows them to overcome and do things they thought they couldn’t do before. 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.

Portrait of Frey, from the Washington Post If you could imagine reading AMLP before, could you read it now, with this cowering mouse at its front? How contrary he is even to the Frey character in AMLP, who by all accounts is Macho Dude Extraordinary! Reader, meet author emasculate, the first (so far as I can tell) of his kind ever to walk the face of the earth.



I realized last night why this is such an unusual note. Author’s notes are written for future/current readers, not previous ones. This note looks backward, speaks backward, as if all those people who were upset with Frey would go buy a new edition of AMLP for the sake of this apology. Of course, that’s not going to happen.

did you get my email…just wondering because our school is being pegged as spam by a lot of things

also, how do i post an article, again?

I got it. Do you mean post an article on the sidebar?

check yr email.