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Saturday, January 28, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Author Frey says he won't write book on his troubles

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — James Frey, the disgraced author of "A Million Little Pieces," has a hard-luck story he doesn't want to share: He will not write a book about the unraveling of his admittedly tainted million-selling memoir of addiction and recovery.

"I think writing a book about this experience would be trying to capitalize on it in some way, and that's not something I want to do at all," Frey, 36, said in a segment on Oprah Winfrey's syndicated talk show. The segment was taped, but not immediately aired, after Thursday's program, when Winfrey turned against the author whose book she had endorsed last fall.

Frey's comments were part of "Oprah After the Show," a conversation featuring Frey, Winfrey and publisher Nan Talese broadcast Friday night on the Oxygen network, a cable channel Winfrey helped found.

Despite Frey's on-air humiliation, when Winfrey berated him and the author acknowledged that key parts of the books were invented, "A Million Little Pieces" kept selling. On Friday, it was in the top 5 on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

Meanwhile, publishers and agents agreed that tighter scrutiny was needed after Talese acknowledged that memoirs are not fact-checked.

Despite calls from Winfrey and others to tighten standards, many doubt publishers will hire fact checkers.

"Publishing companies run on pretty tight budgets, and there's just not enough time to check every book," said Viking associate publisher Paul Slovak.

"But it is possible that somebody might look at these books with a slightly more alert eye."

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company


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