February 16-23, 2006 Edition

Canadian Reader

Seeks Class-Action Suit

Against James Frey

QUEBEC, CANADA/2/9/06—U.S. author James Frey is under fire once again for his embellished memoirs of drug-addicted exploits, according to an item on, Canadian television news site.

On the heels of having been berated on Oprah Winfrey’s international television show for trying to call his memoir, A Million Little Pieces, fact instead of fiction, a Montreal man is trying to launch a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Quebec readers who see Frey’s book as fraudulent. Similar suits have been filed by readers in Ohio and New York after a US blog exposed Frey’s fabrications in January.

According to, Joshua Adam Levy has sought permission from a Quebec superior Court to file the lawsuit against not only Frey, but his publisher, Random House Inc., and its Canadian division, Random House of Canada Ltd.Levy is seeking $2 million in damages so that readers can be reimbursed for the book, which retails for about $12.60.

Levey’s lawyer, Jeff Orenstein, says his client decided to sue because the publisher marketed the book as non-fiction, and said no such action would have been taken had the book been called fiction. The lawyer said Levy felt deceived and has lost confidence in the memoir category.

Oprah Winfrey previously endorsed A Million Little Pieces by naming it to Oprah’s Book Club, but later had Frey on her talk show to castigate him for conning readers. Frey’s agent has since dumped him, and a Hollywood film option has also been withdrawn.

Recently printed copies of A Million Little Pieces include a note to the reader from Frey saying: “I embellished many details about my past experiences and altered others in order to serve what I felt was the greater literary purpose of the book. I sincerely apologize to those readers who have been disappointed by my actions.”