Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Hey, you want tripe? Come and get it.
Mystery of Author 'JT LeRoy' Unravels

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- One of publishing's most bizarre mysteries appears to finally have been solved.

The writer penning the novels of "JT LeRoy," a purported 25-year-old former male prostitute and drug addict, has been unmasked as a 40-year-old woman who allegedly undertook the ruse to get her work recognized.

LeRoy never existed and Laura Albert authored the books, according to a lawyer for her estranged partner, Geoffrey Knoop.

Knoop, 39, who apologized for playing a role in the hoax, said the stress of keeping it secret had become too much to bear. The couple split in December after 16 years and were trying to work out custody of their young son.

"He's wanted to come clean and let JT fade away," attorney Eric Feig said of Knoop late Monday. "He wanted to take the high road."

He's also secured a movie deal to tell his side of the story, Feig said.

The unveiling of LeRoy comes at a time when the literary world is questioning the work and identities of other authors with hard luck stories. Nasdijj, an award-winning Navajo author, is now believed to be a white writer named Timothy Patrick Barrus. James Frey acknowledged fabricating or embellishing parts of his memoir, "A Million Little Pieces." St. Martin's Press recently added a disclaimer to an upcoming book by Augusten Burroughs, another memoirist who has been challenged...
Interestingly, in this article, ‘LeRoy’s’ various publishers - Bloomsbury, St. Martin’s Press, Last Gasp - are nowhere associated with “his” work. Just sloppy reporting or perhaps publisher publicists working overtime?

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