[He] agreed to call the work a "book" instead of "memoirs," in the author's note - though it still will be described as a memoir on the cover and elsewhere - and to change the acknowledgments page in future editions to say that the Turcotte family's memories of events he describes "are different than my own." It will also express regret for "any unintentional harm" to them.They'd asked for $2 million and for a public retraction and a statement that the book is mostly fiction. I don't know how much, if any, money they got, but they obviously didn't get the statements they wanted out of Burroughs. So their memories are "different"? Their memories could be wrong.
Howard Cooper, a lawyer for the family, said financial terms of the settlement are confidential.
In fact, his publisher has released a statement saying the book is "entirely accurate."
When I read the book, I assumed it was fictionalized -- though it was called a memoir -- because what Burroughs was describing was so horrible (and funny). I'm a little sorry to hear it's true, because I feel sorry for the poor boy. I hope he's found happiness in his art (and in his life).
"I consider this (settlement) not only a personal victory but a victory for all memoirists. I still maintain that the book is an entirely accurate memoir, and that it was not fictionalized or sensationalized in any way," Burroughs said. "I did not embellish or invent elements. We had a very strong case because I had the truth on my side."But the Turcottes are also claiming vindication:
In the publisher's statement, St. Martin's called the settlement "a complete vindication of the accuracy of the memoir."
"With this settlement... we have achieved everything we set out to accomplish when we filed suit two years ago," the family said in the statement. "We have always maintained that the book is fictionalized and defamatory. This settlement is the most powerful vindication of those sentiments that we can imagine."Considering the nature of the agreed-upon public statement, this belief sounds like pure fantasy. So these are the people whose memories differ from the author's? They're distorting right now, in plain view!
Amba seems to think Burroughs took more of a hit, and she's laughing at the idea of the genre called "book."