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This week at The Paris Review, we’re thinking about duplicity, about scam artists and liars, about cheating in all forms. Read on for Nathaniel Rich’s 2006 interview with Laura Albert, the woman behind the JT LeRoy hoax; Uzodinma Iweala’s short story “Speak No Evil”; and Alan Davies’s poem “Lies.”
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Being JT LeRoy
By Nathaniel Rich
Issue no. 178 (Fall 2006)
When you were writing, did you feel JT take over in the same way as when you were talking? Did you feel that JT was writing?
No, when I wrote I felt more like it was me trying to craft a story. He’d tell the story and I was the secretary who would take it down and say, OK, thank you, now I’m going to try to turn it into craft. But while I wouldn’t sit there and think of myself as JT, as long as I was writing I didn’t have to be Laura either.