J.T. LeRoy story jumps the shark

Today the NYT published an odd piece about taking a road trip from SF to LA with Laura Albert, the writer behind the J.T. LeRoy hoax. Along the way, the reporter suffers Albert’s “vulnerability to distraction,” “picky” behavior, and loose grasp of truthiness. The piece wraps up with a jarring “intervention” as a television writer tells her “Shut your mouth and go home” if she wants to have any prayer of writing another book. As Galleycat pointed out, it would have been a lot more fun as a long, perhaps Gonzo-style magazine piece.

The Galleycat post ended with its own strange little cavil, as poster Ron protested that the Albert party had been somehow lame in driving from SF to LA in less than six hours (“I used to be able to get from SF to LA in five hours, six if I stopped for lunch;” had they “taken the scenic route”?) Yeah, they did — they took 101, it’s right there in the article.

Somehow I find myself in sympathy with the Hollywood guy. Laura Albert has only two ways to go from this point: disappear for three years and write another book, or go on a reality show on the order of “Surreal Life.”

Laura Albert on the stand
LeRoy hoaxer in court

2 Comments so far

  1. Ron Hogan (unregistered) on August 24th, 2007 @ 2:02 pm

    Yeah, that was my own fault, for not recognizing the term “blue roads.” It wasn’t until this morning that I remembered that William Least Heat Moon book Blue Highways.

    And, yeah, I used to take the 101 to I forget which small highway somewhere around Gilroy, make my way to the 5 and then merge with the 405.

  2. violet (unregistered) on August 24th, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

    personally, as a writer and a person whose childhood was a hell so similar to “LeRoy” that many people have emailed me asking if Albert ‘stole’ stories from me — and I am currently revisiting every minute of my hell by trying to write it all down…

    to hear that she has a chinese cleaner and cook, and a fucking entourage for a road trip, and is followed around by NYT reporters… I wish Milch had stuffed the $500 in her lying mouth and called her a cocksucker, a la Swerengen. but telling her to shut the hell up and hope she can write is good enough for me.

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