Liar, liar, bestseller on fire

This is kind of depressing about the trend publishing is going--about the industry caring more about having a marketable figure behind a book then necessarily the book itself--and writers creating bogus memoirs because it's the only way they can get publishers to pay attention to these fictional works, but I think the article is worth reading. And as Simon pointed out earlier, just trying to stir things up...

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I wonder if any of these author actually had the talent to do well without these shenanigans. I suppose, regardless, you have to marvel at the lack of integrity -- or disdain for their readers.
Yeah, well, let's hope "gimmick memoir" as the article calls it is a fad.

Still, some of the truths here are sad. This book was published by a major publisher and reviewed prominently in the New York Times, while an entire genre, 'urban lit' covers this ground every day and is largely ignored by the mainstream media (it seems, from up here in Canada, anyway).

The author (called, rather sympathetically, "young," and "naive," but she is over thirty, so when do we stop being "young"? - I only complain about this becuse I'm not "young" anymore) said that she wanted to tell a story that no one was listening to, and there's some truth in that, too. Of course, her "solution" to the fact that these stories are marginalized is wacko and self-serving at best (or, it was an "easy" way out, cashing in on the gimmick memoir fad).

Richard Price does pretty well writing books about (mostly) people living in public housing. I'm about halfway through the fantastic "Beautiful Children" a debut novel set in Las Vegas and the author had no need to claim it was a memoir. The novel is in no serious trouble.

And, I don't know, it seems to me critics of the publishing business (and critics of the novel) cry Chicken Little too much.

Still, it's fun to stir up trouble, I'm with you on that :)
Talk about timing – one week ago I posted on my page about the author as marketable commodity.

Here in Australia we have a long and proud history of literary malfeasance. I, of course, take the moral high ground and after FAT, FIFTY & F***ED! was published I went to a lot of trouble to convince people it was NOT autobiographical. As the illegitimate son of a soap opera star and a former Prime Minister and being someone who was raised in the bush by quokkas the whole idea of using my past to promote myself is most distasteful. Contact my publicist for more information on my distaste.
LOL! That was great. Thanks.
i wish these shitheads would quit peeing in the pool. pretty soon nobody's gonna wanna get in.
All memoirs or biographies have some amount of fabrication in them. I mean, if you really think people can remember a book's worth of actual dialogue from 10 years ago, then being duped is probably a frequent occurrence for you.

Creative nonfiction is popular right now, so people are finding ways to get in to it. Lying and presenting fiction as fact is wrong, everyone will agree on that. But caring about what's marketable rather than what makes the story good is not only common with industry people, but also with authors. I can't remember the last time there was a discussion topic on here about the joys of writing instead of a discussion having to do with what will make a book sell.
Oh, John, you always bring a bit of fresh air into the discussions. Actually, we have talked about the joy or passion of writing. It's just that we'll have to stop writing if the latest book doesn't make minimal sales. And frequently these days perfectly good books don't make it because the garbage is being hyped.


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