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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Friday, August 24, 2007 9:44 am
One Step ahead of the Po-Po
Posted by: Keir Graff

But I’ve never said I wouldn’t link to/write about Laura Albert. She (and her alter ego, JT Leroy) is, after all, my O.J. Caught the New York Times’ latest¬†(“Her Journey, All True,” by Alan Feuer) first on Galleycat, who calls Feuer Albert’s “enabler.”

Honestly, her life feels like a reality show that I need to stop watching. Yet I can’t tear myself away. Can’t she go into seclusion or something? I have a life to lead, for crying out loud.

The journalistic mind gets a little nervous hearing sentiments like this. After all Ms. Albert has veracity issues. Can she be trusted? What, in short, should be discarded? What believed?

Take, for instance, the following encounter in Atascadero, a cheerless town of bedding stores a few miles north of San Luis Obispo. The party stopped for coffee at a Starbucks and fell into a conversation with some gutter punks, pierced and dreadlocked, who were headed for Seattle. Might they have a ride?

They might, although the party’s car was headed south. And anyhow, Ms. Albert said, the police were on their tail. Or more precisely, the "po-po," as she called them. The punks looked baffled and were clearly at a loss. After all, Ms. Albert, in her shades, might have been a late-day Bonnie Parker. Who could tell for sure? When they walked away, the film director, her longtime friend, shook his head and turned to hide a smile.

(On the night before the trip Ms. Albert, her son, her son’s friend and the reporter ducked into a taxi with the reporter’s luggage. The driver asked where they were from, and on the spot Ms. Albert told him she had just come in from New York City, fleeing a tornado that had ripped through town. She said the twister, which was real, had destroyed her home, which was not.)

The point is, what do you make of all of this? Pathology or provocation? Playful joke or a plain old-fashioned lie?




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