Everyone has the right to tell their side of a story, and Jeff Feuerzig’s anti-apologia documentary Author: The JT LeRoy Story allows the writer behind of one the silliest literary hoaxes of the early 2000s to do so. Not that they consider the act of making up a genderqueer teen prostitute named JT LeRoy and crediting him as the writer of the acclaimed romans à clef Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, to be a hoax. Noms de plume are a proud literary tradition, but LeRoy was portrayed in public by their partner’s half-sister, who was treated like the second coming of Burroughs while the American-born writer pretended to be their British assistant. They hobnobbed with celebrities — and also Billy Corgan — jetting around a world they’d hoodwinked into believing LeRoy was a real person who lived many of the horrible things in the books. But the unrepentant writer insists that it wasn’t a hoax, because the small print on the back of those books said “Fiction,” so if you bought into the LeRoy legend that they created and benefited from, that’s totally on you. But if they have the right to engage in intellectual dishonesty, then you have the right to not pay to see Author: The JT LeRoy Story, or to buy any of their books. Fair is fair.
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