From Timothy Schaffert:
It’s at that point in the promotional process of the (downtown) Omaha lit fest that I start contacting you regularly, in my desperation, to remind you that the event is THIS WEEKEND (Sept. 19 and 20). Please don’t forget! Visit www.omahalitfest.com, print out the schedule, take it to Big Brain, and tattoo it to the back of your hand. I’ll just be heart-broken if I don’t see you there.
Meanwhile, to tantalize, I’ve offered the first few bits of an essay by Lit Fest author Laurie Stone, writing about the infamous JT Leroy, a topic that will likely come up during out “Plagiarism, Fraud & Other Literary Inspiration” panel at 11 am Saturday (at the Bemis). The rest of the essay is here: http://www.theliteraryreview.org/tlrweb/stone.htm Laurie was the first person to publish JT Leroy, a young man who turned out to be a middle-aged woman. Fraud? Performance artist? Or simply fiction extending beyond the page?
(Oh, and we have the parking lot right next to the Bemis, on the north side of the building, reserved for Lit Fest, so feel free to park there…)
“Lies and the Memoir” by Laurie Stone…
In 1996, when I was gathering pieces for an anthology of memoirs, the writer Bruce Benderson, a friend, suggested I read the work of a 16-year-old boy he was exchanging emails with. I said, “Why would I be interested in the writing of a kid?” I’d collected pointed work from Phillip Lopate, Catherine Texier, and Lois Gould. In rich, image-driven pieces, each breathed life into a ruthless parent, capturing their seductivity as well. Peter Trachtenberg and Jerry Stahl, former heroin addicts, chronicled in rollicking fashion the pleasure of sooty falls. There would be no recovery or uplift in this book, no advertising for how we should live. I was interested in expanding the range of subjects we could speak about in public. I liked writers who didn’t try to win love.
“He’s literary,” Bruce promised.
“How can that be?”
“I don’t know, but you have to read his stuff.”
He went by the name Terminator—a joke. A picture Bruce kept on his bookcase showed a gawky, towheaded slip of a thing. …
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