james frey: still a piece of work

Oh, James Frey.

Who the bleep do you think you are.

Some wonderful insight on Frey’s shenanigans from Nova Ren Suma and Maureen Johnson.

IN A NUTSHELL: (Emphasis on NUT)

James Frey is raiding MFA programs. He entices destitute grad students to write YA books for him.

For slave wages.

To his specifications, to maximize movie-licensing tie-ins.

Also, these books are written under pseudonyms.

And various and sundry other unfair practices. (See Nova’s and Maureen’s sites.)

My God. The Hubris.

Please notice that he doesn’t go out into the wide, wide world to find his writers. He harvests kids desperate to pay off their tuition debt and too young to know what a crappy deal they’re getting.


He asks the student to submit an outline, and if Frey likes it, the student writes the book. Then the two of them are considered “co-authors”.


Then he and Spielberg add material to the novel which will translate well onto the screen and into the Happy Meals.


The whole undertaking from beginning to end reeks of disrespect–for the writer, for the publishing business, and most of all for the reader. James Frey thinks  all YA readers like the same bowl of gruel, and he’s got the recipe.


(Hey. That is a direct quote from a picture book. Don’t blame me!)

Please. Don’t support this insult. Don’t buy, or even read, these books.

I mean it.


About Lisha Cauthen

Lisha Cauthen writes YA novels for guys that girls like to read too.

Posted on November 18, 2010, in YA literature and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on james frey: still a piece of work.

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