“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” –Spencer Johnson
When I started writing yesterday’s blog, I went off on a totally different tangent than I had planned. That happens often when I write, so I tend to just go with the flow.
I’m not using this blog to promote Oprah (like she needs that to begin with). But the point I meant to get to yesterday is why is Oprah blamed for memoirs gone wrong? I’m sure you remember the flak she took for James Frey’s book, A Million Little Pieces. More recently, she’s been criticized for not knowing that Angels at the Fence, by Herman Rosenblat also was doctored with a bit of fiction.
Straight from Hel has a really good and in-depth blog on this subject so I am just skimming the edges and voicing my opinion. Which is—writers should have the integrity to market their work honestly. If it’s a memoir with facts about actual events and real people, it’s non-fiction; if it’s a memoir embellished with things that did not happen, it’s fiction. How difficult is that to understand?
Perhaps a few authors have confused the definition of truth and Stephen Colbert’s word, truthiness. The definition of truth - the true or actual state of a matter (Random House). The definition of truthiness - the quality of stating concepts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than the facts (Urban Dictionary).
I believe most authors are honest and it’s not Oprah’s responsibility, or ours, to vet the authenticity of each and every memoir released. What are your views?
Thanks for stopping by.
Tags: Truthiness, Spencer Johnson, Oprah, Frey, A Million Little Pieces, Rosenblat, Angels at the Fence, Colbert,