January 4, 2006

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?
[guardian]
Previously: Van Sant on greg.org

[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 greg.org, 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 greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
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first published: January 4, 2006.

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