A Collection of "Signed" Books
NY, Grove, Bloomsbury, (1997-2001). A collection of the early works by the pseudonymous "J.T. Leroy" -- Jeremiah "Terminator" Leroy -- who was supposed to be a young male from California and who turned out to be the writing persona of a female author, Laura Albert, in one of the more controversial literary hoaxes of recent years. "Terminator" first came to literary attention in the Grove Press anthology Close to the Bone: Memoirs of Hurt, Rage and Desire, published in 1997. In this purported memoir, the male teenager dresses in drag and seduces his abusive mother's boyfriend. The transgressive subject matter of his writings and his extreme youthfulness contributed to Leroy becoming a literary sensation. Requests for personal appearances and readings led to Savannah Knoop, the half-sister of Albert's partner, Geoffrey Knoop, traveling to events and posing as Leroy. The hoax unraveled in late 2005, and the case reached a level of controversy uncommon for literary pseudonyms when a film company sued Albert for fraud for signing a contract using her pseudonym and refusing to cooperate on the revised version of the film they wanted to make when the real identity of "Leroy" became known. This collection includes seven items, all of them signed by the "author," although, in fact, these would have been signed by Savannah Knoop prior to one of her appearances as Leroy; in this case the appearance was to have been at the Brooklyn McSweeney's Store, and when she saw how many books had been left for her to sign -- and knowing the intimacy of the venue and how much close contact there would be with the audience -- she signed the books, canceled the reading, and left. The collection is as follows:
- Close to the Bone. NY: Grove (1997). An anthology edited by Laurie Stone and including the first appearance in print of "Leroy," known here as "Terminator," reported to be 16 years old. Signed by the author in the Table of Contents. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
- Same title, the advance reading copy. Signed by the author in the Table of Contents. Fine in wrappers.
- Sarah. (NY): Bloomsbury (2000). His first novel. Fine in illustrated boards without dust jacket, as issued. Signed by the author. Blurbs by Chuck Palahniuk, Mary Gaitskill, Suzanne Vega, Dennis Cooper, Joelf Rose, Lewis Nordan, and others.
- Same title, the advance reading copy. Signed by the author. Fine in wrappers.
- Same title, first softcover edition (2001). Signed by the author. Same blurbs as the hardcover edition, plus review excerpts from the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, LA Style, The Guardian, and others.
- Meteors. (NY): Bloomsbury (2001). An advance excerpt from his then-forthcoming second book, a collection of stories. Signed by the author. Small red stamp on front cover, otherwise fine.
- The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. (NY) Bloomsbury (2001). His second book, a collection of stories. Signed by the author. Review copy, fine in a fine dust jacket with promotional material laid in.
All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.