A Moment of Jen
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Thursday, September 22, 2005
posted by Jen at 9/22/2005 10:43:00 PM

Just got back to my hotel after a fabulous event at the Attic Bar in Boston. I've got to read in bars more often. The more people drink, the funnier I am.

(I think the funniest part of the night involved wondering what would happen when -- and if -- the manufacturers of Pedialyte find out that their beverage shows up in GOODNIGHT NOBODY as a mixer for vodka, and call me to complain. It's a medical beverage for sick children, you whore!)

In other writing-life news, Oprah's picked a new author, and it's not a dead guy!

It's James Frey, whose publisher just printed up a reported six hundred thousand copies of his addiction memoir, A MILLION LITTLE PIECES.

I wonder how that Word of Mouth gang -- the oh-so-literary lady writers who were pushing so hard last spring for Oprah to pick current fiction instead of the classics -- are going to react.

On the one hand, yes, it's a live author instead of a dead one.

But it's a white guy, as opposed to a woman. A memoirist, as opposed to a novelist. And a writer who's already a New York Times bestseller, one who received plenty of love from the critical establishment when his book first appeared, which means that it's not exactly like Oprah's plucked some poor toiling scribe from the anonymity of the remainder bin and anointed him the Next Big Thing. If I'm remembering right, the New York Times already did that, back when the book came out.

According to Publishers Weekly, Oprah's new pick signals that she's "opened doors to all books." I won't be too surprised if the Word of Mouth members get pissed when "all books" turns out to mean "books that are not exactly like the ones they write."

Meanwhile, I'm just curious about how a writer who dropped the f-bomb six times in the first paragraph of an interview with the New York Observer's going to do on daytime TV.
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