Girl Boy Girl
How I Became JT Leroy
By Savannah Knoop
(Seven Stories Press, Paperback, 9781583228517, 224pp.)
Publication Date: October 7, 2008
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The JT LeRoy scandal is a story of our times. In January 2006, the New York Times unmasked Savannah Knoop as the face of the mysterious author JT LeRoy. A media frenzy ensued as JT’s fans, mentors, and readers came to terms with the fact that the gay-male-ex-truck-stop-prostitute-turned literary-wunderkind was really a girl from San Francisco, whose sister-in-law wrote the books.
Girl Boy Girl is the story of how Savannah Knoop led this bizarre double life for six years, trading a precarious existence as a college dropout for a life in which she was embraced by celebrities and artists—Carrie Fisher, Courtney Love, Mary Ellen Mark, Winona Ryder, Asia Argento, Sharon Olds, Gus Van Sant, Mike Pitt, Calvin Klein, and Shirley Manson, to name a few—and traveled the world. Telling her side of the story for the first time, Savannah reveals how being perceived as a boy gave her a sense of confidence and entitlement she never had before. Her love affair with Asia Argento is particularly wrenching, as they embark on an intimate relationship that causes more alienation than closeness.
As Savannah and Laura struggle over control of the JT character, Savannah realizes the limits of the game - - and inadvertently finds herself through the adventure of being someone else.
SAVANNAH KNOOP began to lead a double life in 1999 at the age of eighteen, when her sister-in-law asked her to be the face of JT LeRoy, author of the internationally acclaimed novels Sarah and The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. Their true identities were revealed in 2006. Knoop began designing clothing six years ago and formed a clothing company under the name of Tinc. She lives in San Francisco.
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org