Freywatch: The Agent Speaks!

By Neal Comment

Brillstein-Grey literary agent Kassie Evashevski breaks her silence in an exclusive interivew with Publishers Weekly e-i-c Sara Nelson. Until now, Evashevski had not commented about her role in James Frey’s rise to literary stardom, but now that she’s “sort[ed] out for myself what was happening,” she’s ready to address those reports of how A Million Little Pieces (“the most visceral and vivid description of drug addiction I had ever read”) was being shopped as both novel and memoir:

“Early in the submission process, James raised the issue of whether he could publish it as an autobiographical novel—ONLY, he said, to spare his family undue embarrassment, NOT because it wasn’t true. I told him I would bring it up with a few publishers, which I did, and the response was unanimous: if the book is true, it should be published as a memoir. James personally explained to his editor that the events depicted in the book took place as described. Based on the information given us by the author, [editor] Sean McDonald and [publisher] Nan Talese believed in good faith they were buying a memoir, just as I believed I was selling them one.”

After all the revelations, Evashevski no longer trusts her former client enough to feel like she can continue repping his work, but she still thinks he’s talented: “[I] suspect we haven’t heard the last of James Frey,” she says.