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BEST LOCAL GIRL GONE BAD Minneapolis 2006 - Nicole Helget

Memory, of course, is a tricky thing. No author of a memoir can reasonably assert that her remembrance of things past is absolutely accurate, that it is devoid of all embellishment. That said, there is a critical difference between the taking of poetic license in matters of dialogue and chronology and, say, cooking up a story about how your besotted dad stabbed a cow to death with a pitchfork. If you are to believe Helget's mother, siblings, and assorted family friends, Helget veered deep into the fictional realm in her depiction of the supposed pathos, violence, and poverty of life on the Helget family farm. Despite a profoundly unflattering depiction, Helget's father, Dale, has publicly defended his daughter. On the other hand, he also has acknowledged that he hadn't read her book and flatly denies having ever impaled any livestock. So what's the difference between James Frey and Nicole Helget? Well, Helget can write and she hasn't appeared on Oprah. Not yet, at least.

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