The Chronicle’s Heidi Benson follows up on the San Francisco reaction to JT LeRoy’s unmasking. Stephen Beachy–who first alleged that LeRoy was Laura Albert’s creation in a New York magazine piece–says “The hoax needed to be revealed in order for us to ask the really important questions — about what we want to believe and why, what we project onto ‘outsiders,’ and the magical aura we grant celebrities.”

Dave Eggers says the LeRoy stories are well-written no matter who penned them, Armistead Maupin is incensed by the idea of someone using a fiction of AIDS and childhood abuse for sympathy, and Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket is “bemused,” as is his delightful wont: “The only question is, did the person who wrote these things have as colorful a history as some people seem to believe?” Handler asked. “That’s a question you could ask about Jack London.”

1 Comment

  • Michaela Posted January 18, 2006 1:38 pm

    Was it sympathy that JT Leroy attracted, or was it a nihilistic fascination that lured those slumming luminaries? Exposing THEM for their pretentiousness makes this a slam-dunk literary hoax in my book. (Frey’s just a low-octane punk parlaying his frat-boy hi-jinks into a book whose message is the same as Nancy Reagan’s: Just Say No!)

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