The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things is credited to JT LeRoy, a fictional persona created by Laura Albert, perhaps to attach the frightening possibility of the novel being autobiographical.
In this amazingly unhappy story, young Jeremiah is snatched from a home with loving foster parents after custody is granted to his birth-mother, a drug-addled prostitute who has just turned 18. What follows is Jeremiah’s detailing of traveling the country and being moved from one home and one family to another (almost all of which abuse him either sexually, physically or both) as his mother continues to disappear and reappear in his life. Jeremiah narrates his way into adolescence, as his brokenness becomes something horrifyingly palpable.
When the novel was first published, JT LeRoy was believed to be a prodigy who had first began writing and publishing work at the age of 16 and now toured to promote “his” writings as an awkward transexual (played in public by a trained impostor.) Eventually, the hoax fell apart. In 2004 the book was adapted into a strange, gritty film version written and directed by Asia Argento, daughter of horror icon Dario Argento.
will you be offended? The story is a very candid and heart-breaking tale of a severely abused child. It doesn’t glorify any of the depravity it details, quite the opposite, but most of the book is pretty rough.