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Transcript from WaPo Chat with James Frey

read full transcript at the WashingtonPost’s Book World

Book World: ‘Bright Shiny Morning’
Controversial Memoirist Turns to Fiction

James Frey
Tuesday, May 20, 2008; 3:00 PM
Arts & Books at the Washington Post
A transcript follows.

Join Book World Live each Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion based on a story or review in each Sunday’s Book World section.


James Frey: Hi, this is James Frey. I’m happy to be here today with you and the Washington Post. Thanks to the Post for having me and you for checking this out. Hope you have fun, have a good day.


Los Angeles, Calif.: Good morning and thanks for taking my question. I’m a native Angeleno, but also interested in New York City. I’m wondering how you would compare the two cities since you lived in LA and now live in New York. What would you say are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Do you prefer one over the other?


James Frey: I love both cities. They are totally different. Everything is centralized in NY, nothing in LA. The weather stinks in NY, great in LA. One is much faster than the other. I could live or be happy in either.


W. Orange, N.J.: Bright Shiny Morning = Edgar Lee Masters + John Dos Passos + Nathanael West. Fair enough?

James Frey: I’ll certainly take it. Thank you very much.


Washington, D.C.: I am so looking forward to reading your book. I truly enjoyed “A Million Little Pieces” and “My Friend Leonard.” I am sure a lot of thought and editing goes into the process, but it seems so “stream of consciousness.” How much of it actually is your stream of consciousness and how much is a “writing style?”

James Frey: Thank you.

The books are written very deliberately. Sometimes it comes easily, sometimes not. Either way, I try to be very careful about the words and the punctuation, or lack thereof. I also never really read my own writing, so I try to make it perfect the first time through.


Memphis, Tenn.: James, how are you enjoying your reading tour so far?

James Frey: I’m having a ball on my tour. The events in NY, LA and SF were awesome. It’s great to be out there again, I feel very lucky to be doing it.


New York, N.Y.: Why would anyone want to read anything this fraud has to write? I only wish he left our good city and crawled under the rock from where he came.

James Frey: I hope we meet someday so I can shake your hand and give you a big hug.

[ click to read rest of chat at the ]

Posted on May 20, 2008 by Editor

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