My life as a literary scam artist: how JT LeRoy seduced the world without actually existing

Dating service
Savannah Knoop as JT LeRoy
Savannah Knoop as JT LeRoy Credit: AFP

I always think of this story as like a BDSM fairytale gone wrong,” says Savannah Knoop, a 38-year-old artist from San Francisco. This description - of a subordinate forgetting the rules of the game and expecting their master to treat them with more respect - is as good a description as any for a story so hard to categorise.

If you are unfamiliar with Knoop's tale, they (Knoop prefers the gender-neutral pronoun) are the person who pretended in public to be trailblazing author JT LeRoy at the height of his fame in the late 1990s and early 2000s. JT LeRoy was different to most trailblazing authors in one critical aspect: he didn't exist.

He was the alter ego of Laura Albert, who, born and raised...

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