Conning the booktrade connoisseurs

Literary scandals – like actual scandals – come and go. Who now recalls, or indeed cares less about, the hoo-ha surrounding whether or not the professional huckster James Frey made stuff up in his much celebrated 2004 memoir A Million Little Pieces and then had the audacity to lie about it to Oprah Winfrey? Anyone remember JT LeRoy? Binjamin Wilkomirski? Authorship debates, accusations of plagiarism, obscenity controversies, way-out wacky and appalling author behaviour, rivalries, forgeries – they all tend to be storms in teeny-tiny, super-fragile, already half-cracked literary teacups that soon subside and slip from the gossip columns and the culture pages to become the subject matter merely of obscure