New York magazine’s October 2005 issue sent shockwaves through the literary world when it unmasked “it boy” wunderkind JT LeRoy, whose tough prose about his sordid childhood had captivated icons and luminaries internationally. It turned out LeRoy didn’t actually exist. He was dreamed up by 40-year-old San Francisco punk rocker and phone sex operator, Laura Albert.
Author: The JT LeRoy Story takes us down the infinitely fascinating rabbit hole of how Laura Albert—like a Cyrano de Bergerac on steroids—breathed not only words, but life, into her avatar for a decade. Albert’s epic and entertaining account plunges us into a glittery world of rock shows, fashion events, and the Cannes red carpet where LeRoy becomes a mysterious sensation. As she recounts this astonishing odyssey, Albert also reveals the intricate web spun by irrepressible creative forces within her. Her extended and layered JT LeRoy performance still infuriates many; but for Albert, channeling her brilliant fiction through another identity was the only possible path to self-expression.
Jeff Feuerzeig is an award-winning director whose feature film The Devil and Daniel Johnston won the U.S. Documentary Directing Award at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The film is a portrait of a schizophrenic musician who overcame his private demons to develop an avid international following. Feuerzeig also directed The Real Rocky for ESPN Films’ acclaimed 30 for 30 Series, which views the Chuck Wepner story through the documentary lens.