Writer James Frey has run contrary to Oprah Winfrey by revealing that his book, "A Million Tiny Pieces," is not a factual memoir as he has represented it. In several instances, portions of the best-selling book have overblown the truth of Mr. Frey's addiction and recovery. One point in particular is his assertion that he was imprisoned for three months -- the truth is, it was a few hours.
The questions about the truth of his tale had been raised by www.thesmokinggun.com. Frey subsequently appeared on Larry King Live and was questioned about the discrepancies; Oprah called in to defend him.
Since then, Oprah has further investigated Frey's manuscript and withdrawn her support of Frey. Now she is on the warpath, knowing she was intentionally duped.
Questions she and others have raised: Why wasn't it written as a novel? Why did he sell this book as a memoir?
Today's episode of Oprah will further deal with this as Frey appears again on the show to defend or explain his decisions. (The morning broadcast in some areas was interrupted by the President's address.)
Bottom line: Tell the truth if you're claiming that the piece you are writing is "the truth." If you're not writing a truthful account of the facts, label it as fiction or a "novel based on facts." Don't lie. Don't deceive your readers.
Isn't that part of recovery, anyway?