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 added a publisher's note and author's note to all further editions of A Million Little Pieces.
This biography was last updated on 02/26/2016.
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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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