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The LA Times and David Ulin say, “Go away, James Frey. Nous vous détestons.”

from the LA Times


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The unfortunate spread of James Frey

May 17, 2010

On Saturday, the French Consulate, with assistance from UCLA’s department of French and Francophone studies, presented a day of literature from France and Los Angeles. The events, which were either in English or in French with English translation, were nevertheless packed full of French expatriates — there are more than 30,000 in Los Angeles. The star of the show was onetime memoirist James Frey.


Other American authors who participated, such as Steve Erickson, acclaimed author of 10 books, and Richard Lange, a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, are both published in France. But as French writer Jean Rolin noted, it’s Frey who has caught the attention of French readers, particularly teenagers. Moderator Olivier Barrot, a well-known French literary critic, introduced Frey’s most recent book, “Bright Shiny Morning,” as being like John Dos Passos’ work in ambition and scope.

This is hardly the reception the novel received in Los Angeles. “‘Bright Shiny Morning’ is an execrable novel,” wrote Times book editor David L. Ulin, “a literary train wreck without even the good grace to be entertaining.”

[ click to continue reading at The Los Angeles Times ]

Posted on May 18, 2010 by Editor

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