semi-work purposes. | Book Review – Sarah by JT Leroy
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Book Review – Sarah by JT Leroy

Book Review – Sarah by JT Leroy

‘You better not swipe my leather skirt,’ she yelled over the shower water streaming down. I leaned into the Sheetrock bathroom door. ‘I’m going as a boy,’ I shouted…since I’ll be making more than you. As a boy, I’ll kick you down some change.’ (JT Leroy, 2005, pp.3-4)


Nice hat…ya nasty….triflin’…secret literary sensation!


I guess I was supposed to read between the lines – the lines about former child sex worker JT Leroy’s tragic “real-life story” of child prostitution, drug abuse and violent maternal rejection – to find out that JT Leroy is nothing but a lie. JT Leroy is actually Laura Albert, a cynical 40 year-old phone-sex worker who needed to invent a gay, homeless runaway in order to get her books published. Hey, who am I to judge? Everyone needs to make a buck!


And all those sex abuse victims who found in Leroy a kindred spirit, a source of strength and inspiration BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT HE WAS REAL, well, they just need to GET OVER IT. Hmm…do we sense a slightly aggravated tone?




“(Reading Sarah) was like flipping through a photo album of snapshots I had taken of the people I hated, presented to me by the same scared little boy I was at that time.” – Kevin Lenkel (fan and sex abuse victim), 2005


After receiving heartfelt soul-bearings such as this, you would think Albert would take a long hard look at herselves and say “okay, this isn’t funny anymore guys, people are going to get hurt, time to come clean”. But she didn’t. Instead she signed a picture deal worth more than $100000! Not only that, but the kid from Big Daddy wore dresses and make up all in the name of giving an accurate portrayal of a person that doesn’t even exist!!! Say Whaaaaa???

Laura Albert’s pleas for pity and understanding after being exposed (and successfully sued) as a fraud really do boggle the mind. And that Smashing Pumpkin-head Billy Corgan boasts that he’s known about Albert’s literary racket since 2002 – don’t even get me started on that!!!!

C’mon Billy.









I wanted to see if Sarah is as tragically haunting, poignant and engrossing as a fiction novel as it was as a chilling, thinly-veiled autobiography. So I re-read it. If you’re a glass-half-full kind of reader, you might enjoy the Da Vinci Code-esque opportunity of spotting the clues to JT Leroy’s true identity which are (in my opinion) littered throughout the book.



Perhaps Billy’s motivation for being “in” on the racket?

All in all, Sarah remains a lucid, graphic story. However, the wounds from Albert’s betrayal are still open and therefore prevent me from becoming engrossed in the narrative. I now keep my compassionate nature well away from Laura Albert’s work – to protect it from any further injury.

And so it seems the lesson us idiotically empathetic readers were supposed to learn is….what exactly? Oh yeah – The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, except Laura Albert.


Verdict: Sarah by JT Leroy – 5/5. Sarah by Laura Albert – 3/5.



Shock horror! I intend to review Author: The JT Leroy Story verrrry soon folks. Stay tooooned!




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