Thursday, May 19, 2011

James Frey made me cry!

James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces was on Oprah the other day. And yes - I do DVR Oprah every single day. I love that show and I am not ashamed :).

Anyway, did any of you guys read that book? I bought it back when it was on the NYT Best Seller list, but never read it, and now I can't find it. If you don't know anything about the controversy surrounding the book, I'll give you a little recap: James Frey wrote a book that he claimed was a completely true memoir about his life as a drug addict/alcoholic, and went on Oprah talking about how it was all true when she made it her book club selection. Countless numbers of people read the book and it's sales skyrocketed. He and Oprah both got tons of letters about how much it was helping former addicts understand themselves, etc. As it turns out, most of the story was NOT true, and he went on the Oprah show again where she called him out for lying to millions of people. Some people got extremely upset about it, others said, if it helped people... who cares if it was true or not? SO, after several years, he went back on Oprah this week. Their conversation was split up between two episodes where they kind of apologized to each other and then talked about how his life has changed since that "scandal" happened.

Kurt and I were actually watching it together which rarely happens - the whole two day series was amazing, and made me want to order the book again. But the best part, was when James opened up to Oprah about the death of his son Leo, who died in the NICU when he was 12 days old of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It was totally unexpected, and I of course was in tears. Kurt didn't get quite as emotional as I did, but we were definitely both glued to the TV.

I have always said that I wish more people would talk about their experiences publicly so that the general public who has not lost a baby could have even the smallest understanding of what it's like. I've also posted before about wishing that dads would be more open about it, so that other dads wouldn't feel like it's weird to get emotional.

My favorite part was when Oprah was trying to talk to James about when he went back to work or something after Leo died, and she said, "...so after you recovered from that", and he cut her off immediately and said that he still hasn't recovered from it, and that he didn't even think it was possible to recover from it. He will always be sad. While he was talking about this, I was saying "thank you, thank you, thank you" in my head. That's the one thing that I think everyone should know about what it's like to lose a child. There have definitely been times when I've wanted to stand on top of a mountain and scream, "I WILL NEVER BE OVER IT".

I'm pretty sure that the closest thing to yelling from the top of a mountain... is talking to Oprah on international television.

He also spoke a lot about how losing a child makes so many other things seem so insignificant and "not matter much", and gives you a completely new perspective on life.

PLEASE, please click here to watch watch the clip from James Frey's interview with Oprah if you haven't seen the actual episode.

Also, I did some googling, and found this blog post that James wrote for World Aids Day in 2009 - the first time he wrote/spoke publicly about his son. I think he has an amazing heart.

3 comments:

Shannon said...

I did see that part and I'm so glad you blogged about it. I also was in tears as he talked about how he wasn't over it and felt he probably would never be. That made me feel okay about not being anywhere near over losing my child.

As an author, I think what he did to people was terrible. I don't appreciate liars, nor ones who profit from lies. I rushed out to by the book like millions of others when it was on her book club. I almost bought his subsequent book "My Friend Leo" but I think it had started to come out around that time he was a fraud. I didn't enjoy the interviews other than the part he spoke about his son dying. I felt he should have also been apologizing to the millions of people he duped, not just Oprah.

ALo said...

i too dvr Oprah everyday! my hubby missed day one of james, but happened to be in the room when i watched day two. i didnt know anything about his life outside of the whole thing with the book. we were both so proud of him for what he said and even what he didnt have to say...his expressions said so much about the love that he carries for his son. thanks for blogging about this! i had planned to, but didnt get around to it. have a good weekend!

Olivia's Mom said...

I'm definitely going to have to check out that link. Thanks!

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