Saturday, September 16, 2006

Dear Oprah

Dear Oprah,

A few weeks ago, I wanted to do a blog on how you started a leadership school for girls in South Africa. The story on CNN made me want to cry. You seemed so fulfilled, and it's exactly the sort of thing the world needs.

In the meantime I was busy with work, so it fell by the wayside, and I always intended to come back and do a blog about how these kinds of things make you such an amazing role model.

But. In the meantime, I was reminded of something else you've done that fails to impress me. This whole business about James Frey's book, A Million Little Pieces, is just absurd.

Here's the thing.

1. I think everybody with half an education knows that a memoir is usually an embellished version of the truth.
2. I had the pleasure- nay, the good luck- to read the book BEFORE all this crap about it being 'true' came out on your show.
3. When I read it, I thought it was pretty obvious that some parts of it were fictionalized, maybe even most of it, BUT I DIDN'T CARE.
4. I still don't.

I understand that you like to choose literature based on how it inspires you, and that stories based in reality are more inspiring. But I loved other books that you later recommended on your show, such as The Color Purple (loved you in the movie, btw), Their Eyes Were Watching God, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, and especially Beloved, by Toni Morrison (didn't like that movie nearly so much as the book). They didn't have to be non-fiction to be inspiring.

So, darling Oprah, I'm writing to ask you to please GET OVER IT. This business about refunding people's money who felt "defrauded" by the claim that it was non-fiction is completely over the top.

Please stop this nonsense right away, or I'll have to lose all respect for you. As it is, I have to question your judgement in starting all this fuss in the first place.



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