According to this article from today’s New York Times:
James Frey yesterday offered the first detailed explanation of why he embellished and lied about events in “A Million Little Pieces,” his best-selling book: it made a better story.
“I wanted the stories in the book to ebb and flow, to have dramatic arcs, to have the tension that all great stories require,” Mr. Frey said in an author’s note released yesterday that will be included in future editions of the book. “I altered events all the way through the book,” he added.
And better stories sell more copies. Especially when you make people think they’re true.
I’m sure this nexus has occured to a few authors over the past, say, 3,000 years. Like, maybe the guy who first wrote about Noah’s Ark.
Or… the ad copywriter who came up with the idea of telling women that smoking made them healthier. Almost every child ever born tries to lie to get something they want, and will keep doing it until parents intervene.
I can’t believe Frey’s publisher thought this was worth stopping the presses for.