Feature

James Frey’s life after Oprah

The author of A Million Little Pieces will likely never live down being called a fake and a liar on TV by Oprah Winfrey back in 2006.

James Frey is still the most hated author in America, said Erica Wagner in the London Times. Frey, 41, will likely never live down being called a fake and a liar on TV by Oprah Winfrey back in 2006. It was about at that time that his celebrated nonfiction memoir, A Million Little Pieces, was discovered to be more novel than memoir, containing gross fabrications about his time recovering from drug addiction. Frey went from best-selling author to pariah overnight. “I was certainly exiled, I believe, from the literary community,” he says.

As bad as things were then, Frey went through something much tougher in 2008, when his newborn son, Leo, died of a rare spinal condition just 11 days after he was born. “I’ll say that that happening puts a lot of stuff into perspective,” says Frey. “Is getting yelled at on TV that big a deal? Nah. Nah. That wasn’t even that bad a day. You go to your own child’s funeral: That’s a f---in’ bad day.”

Lately, he’s been drawing criticism for a new novel that portrays Jesus as a drug-using bisexual. He couldn’t care less. The Oprah debacle, he says, “freed me from a lot of expectations. Now I can do whatever I want. I want to be the guy who lives outside. Who breaks all the rules.”

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