From The Mixed Up Files Of Mr JT LeRoy

Although he IS credited with the screenplay for Gus Van Sant's Elephant, I confess to not being a fan of JT LeRoy. Not that I've ever read the work, mind you. [Hold that thought.]

Recently the authenticity of his identity, his personal story, and the authorship of his works has been called into question, and reporters have started asking if LeRoy is a hoax, a construct, a collaborative, an impostor whose gritty, wrenching, tawdry, and celebrated persona was somehow overshadowing the work itself. Which is funny, because that's what soured me on his writing right out of the gate--the barrage of hip and celebrity endorsements, most of which came from people who, shall we say, may not be best known for their literary tastes.

Anyway, that doesn't make Guardian reporter Laura Barton's deliberately roadtrippy search for the "real" JT LeRoy and her account of her night out with LeRoy's posse any less interesting. If you like that kind of thing, this is definitely the kind of thing you'll like.

Who's that boy/girl?
Previously: Van Sant on

[1/9 update: The jig sounds up to me. In the NYT, Warren St. John identifies the half-sister of one of JT Leroy's supposed mentor/saviors, Savannah Knoop, [at right] as the real-world stand-in. And then he examines travel expense reports for a JTL story for the Times, which all but confirms that the writing was done by one of these saviors, too: Laura Albert. The Guardian's Laura Barton thinks that Albert is also Emily, JTL's friend who took her around LA.]

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

post info

first published: January 4, 2006.

next older post:
Syriana: The Screenplay

next newer post:
Namaste Helsinki

recent projects, &c.

Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017

Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99