GRAPEVINE, Texas—Publisher Nan A. Talese took up a fresh defense of A Million Little Pieces this weekend, defending the “essential truth” of the discredited memoir—while criticizing Oprah Winfrey and her fans.
Asked about the book during a session at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference of the Southwest on Saturday, Talese said her experience with author James Frey had not changed the way she handled memoirs.
“I’m afraid I’m unapologetic of the whole thing,” she said. “And the only person who should be apologetic is Oprah Winfrey,” who she says exhibited “fiercely bad manners—you don’t stone someone in public, which is just what she did.”
Calling Winfrey’s behavior “mean and self-serving,” Talese said that readers should be able to decide for themselves about whether to believe an author, and that Frey was clear about how believable he was.