As James Frey slinks off with his millions, we can all start to move on to the next amazing fake writer, “Nasdijj”/Timothy Barrus, whose web of deception started unraveling earlier this week. In the aftermath of the LA Weekly feature revealing his past, the News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) is providing confirming details: Nasdijj’s Social Security number is the same as Barrus’s. And it amuses me no end that they add a telling detail to the fake Native American memoirist’s previous literary career as a homoerotic pornographer by reporting that gay men didn’t even find those books convincing and suspected he wasn’t gay (which Barrus would, in fact, come to strenuously deny, particularly after he got married).
Another amusing detail: Hillel Italie’s AP followup was, on at least one website, headlined “Author of Disputed Memoir to Go on Oprah,” presumably because someone at the AP is having trouble keeping track of the fake writers. I know the feeling! And one last clever twist: At least one publisher received an email from somebody claiming to be Nasdijj declaring that he’s written a novel called Year of the Hyena, in which “I tell the story of ‘the scandal of Nasdijj’ and who Nasdijj really is — AND — WHAT IT HAS BEEN LIKE TO BE NASDIJJ. This is my story. No one else has the truth. No one can tell this story like I can.” He adds, “If such a book might interest you, please contact me and I can put you in touch with my agent.”