Well, now we know why James Frey cancelled his appearance in Toronto, which was scheduled for Thursday. We may have assumed he was simply going into low-profile mode, but it turns out something else came up: Oprah Winfrey had the fibbing author back onto her TV show on Thursday, and she wasn’t happy with him.
In the latest twist in the saga (a post-holiday gift that keeps on giving, at least for us publishing-media types), Oprah has reversed her original stance of supporting Frey and now says that he “betrayed millions of people.” When she brought him out in person, her main question was “Why did you lie?”
Frey’s original publisher, Doubleday’s Nan Talese, was also on hand. Was she repentant? Has she taken anything away from all this? Well, according to the Gawker recap, she took the opportunity to testify that she once underwent a root canal without novocaine, in support of one of the more preposterous unverified claims in Frey’s book, A Million Little Pieces.
The New York Times and Gawker have the first of what will undoubtedly be many, many post-mortems; the Gawker one is more complete, at least at this writing.