Edward Wyatt, in yet another investigation of the James Frey case published in Saturday’s New York Times, says that the book industry is beginning to ask questions about Kassie Evashevski, Frey’s agent, and Sean McDonald, who edited A Million Little Pieces and Mr. Frey’s second memoir My Friend Leonard. Let’s pause for just a second to take this in: the book industry is shocked to learn that an agent may have been advocating for her author, rather than prioritizing the needs of a publisher? This seems a little pollyanna in the first place, but here’s how Morgan Entrekin, publisher of Grove/Atlantic, phrased it: “I want to know, where is Kassie in this? What did she know and when did she know it?” Are Frey and his agent really this bad? Thirty years ago—when Republican Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee asked, “What did the president know, and when did he know it?”—such a question was reserved for abuse of power in the highest precincts of government. Today, we have an administration that feels it is okay to: wiretap any of your phone calls or e-mail correspondence “with someone abroad,” track what books you buy on Amazon, and record what you check out of the library or web pages you visit while there. If the administration decides—remember, we don’t need no stinkin’ judges—you are dangerous based on this information (which is classified and therefore unavailable to your attorney), they have the power to arrest you without charge and torture you for information. And our greatest outrage is that Kassie Evashevski may have known that portions of A Million Little Pieces were made up?
PUBLISHED: January 29, 2006