Monday, November 29, 2004

How to Be a Published Author, Part I

The Subject: J.T. Leroy

The story is that J.T. was a teenage prostitute in San Francisco who knew how to hustle more than sex. He hustled two prominent literary authors into believing in him: Dennis Cooper and Mary Gaitskill. (Rumors are that Cooper helped Leroy for "services rendered." Noteworthy: Cooper used J.T. Leroy's photo on the cover of one of his books.)

Through Cooper and Gaitskill, J.T. received a comfortable advance from a publishing company for what were mere scribblings on scraps of paper. At the same time, Leroy was plugged into the New York City hype machine, becoming noteworthy for his past lifestyle more than his mediocre writing. With much help, after two years he produced a passable novel.

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