Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tabloid Baby and the latest phony memoir

This morning we add the name Matt McCarthy to the list of pseudomemoirists, another lily-gilding wannabe accused of embellishing his sordid life in order to hype up a story of his experiences. McCarthy, a graduate of Yale and the Harvard Medical School caught out faking a book about his life as a minor league baseball pitcher, joins James Frey and his rehab book, Herman Rosenblat and his Holocaust story and Margaret Seltzer's made-up life as an inner-city gang girl in a hall of shame reserved for the elite publishing world's golden children who conjure literary fiction and arrogantly pass it off as experience. And while these East Coast and Oprah faves embarrass the elite publishing crowd, some might find it ironic that the wildest major memoir of recent years, the one with the most outrageous, jaw-dropping stories, is the one that is incontrovertibly accurate and true and stands unchallenged in its veracity, while its subject is the supposedly fiction-weaving world of tabloid television. But then you recall that the book was not only blacklisted by the oldstream media, but dropped suddenly by interested New York publishers, and you realize that it's not ironic at all, actually.

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