Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Oh The Glory Of It All

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Oh The Glory Of It All

by Sean Wilsey

Oh The Glory Of It All
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  • First Published:
    May 2005, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2006, 496 pages

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In the wake of the James Frey debacle any memoir that is remotely controversial has to be treated as something of a hot potato, especially one as hot as Wilsey's. His step-mother, uber-socialite Dede Wilsey, threatened legal action against his publisher (after excerpts had run in the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle) in an attempt to stop publication of the book on the basis that there were more than 30 "actionably defamatory statements of fact ... which constitute libel per se" (and that was just in the excerpts!).  Penguin went ahead and published anyway, and I don't think there has been any more talk of legal action.

Sean's relationship with his step-mother is just one part of this memoir but it is a defining part and a continuous theme throughout.  She is portrayed in a less than flattering light - making the step-mothers of fairy tales look positively nurturing by comparison.  At the time it was published in...

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