James Frey biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by James Frey.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

James Frey
Photo © Michael Foley

James Frey

James Frey Biography

James Frey was born in Cleveland, Ohio, 1969. He spent most of his childhood in Ohio and Michigan. Also lived in Boston; Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina; Sao Paulo, Brazil; London; Paris; Chicago; and Los Angeles. He graduated high school in 1988, and attended Denison University and the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked as a screenwriter, director, and producer in Los Angeles. In 2000, he took a second mortgage on his house and spent a year writing A Million Little Pieces. He has since published two more books, My Friend Leonard and Bright Shiny Morning. He lives in New York with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.


January 9th 2006: An article in the Smoking Gun claimed that James Frey (author of A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard) fabricated key parts of his books.  They cited police records, court documents and interviews with law enforcement agents which belie a number of Frey's claims regarding criminal charges against him, jail terms and his fugitive status.

In an interview with the Smoking Gun, Frey admitted that he had 'embellished central details' in A Million Little Pieces and backtracked on claims he made in the book.

January 26th 2006. Frey's publisher stated that while it initially stood by him, after further questioning of the author, the house has "sadly come to the realization that a number of facts have been altered and incidents embellished." It will be adding a publisher's note and author's note to all future editions of A Million Little Pieces.

Link to James's website

This biography was last updated on 12/30/2010.

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Interview

James Frey describes what it took to write A Million Little Pieces.

I started writing A Million Little Pieces in the Spring of 1996. For two or three years previous, I had been trying to figure out how to write it. I would sit down, start to work, and whatever came out was not what was in my head. The work did not have the strength I felt was going to be needed, it was not as simple as I wanted it to be, it was not able to carry the emotions I needed to express to tell the story. I kept at it, kept working. I wrote in my free time. I spent hours and hours and hours yelling at my computer, pacing across my floor back and forth back and forth, clenching my fists and clenching my jaw, writing and erasing, writing and erasing. It was never right, never even close, never what I thought, never what I felt. I needed to be able to write what I felt in my heart. I kept working. I kept working.

I sat down one morning. I had a cup of coffee strong and hot, I had a pack of cigarettes and ashtray. I read my latest attempts and they made me sick. I dragged them to the trash and sent them away bye-bye and good riddance. I opened a new document, took...

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Books by this Author

Books by James Frey at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

My Friend Leonard
My Friend Leonard

by James Frey

Perhaps the most unconventional and literally breathtaking father-son story you'll ever read, My Friend Leonard pulls you immediately and deeply into a relationship as unusual as it is inspiring.
Before considering reading this book, please see the BookBrowse note on the book jacket/review page.
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for James Frey but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Nick Hornby

    Nick Hornby

    Nick Hornby is the author of the novels How to Be Good (a New York Times bestseller), High Fidelity, About a Boy and A Long Way Down, and of the memoir Fever Pitch. He is also the author of Songbook, a finalist for a National... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    My Friend Leonard

    Try:
    A Long Way Down
    by Nick Hornby

  • Susanna Kaysen

    Susanna Kaysen

    Susanna Kaysen was born on 11 November, 1948, and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her father is the economist Carl Kaysen (b.1920), formerly a professor at MIT and advisor to President John F. Kennedy.  In 1967 ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    A Million Little Pieces

    Try:
    Girl, Interrupted
    by Susanna Kaysen

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