This will be amusing for anybody who read Augusten Burroughs’ memoir Running With Scissors, in which young Augusten is adopted by a flipped-out psychiatrist, Dr. Finch, a true patriarch of weirdness and by far the book’s most memorable character. Now six relatives of the real-life doctor, who died in 2000, are speaking out against the book and taking the author and publisher to court for defamation of character.
Here are the sordid details. According to the article, the real Dr. Turcotte’s identity was a thinly-vieled secret. The secret hadn’t reached me, until now (it’s not like I know any Massachusetts psychiatrists anyway, though I am now able to google him all I want). Nor had the news that the book is going to be made into a movie, directed by Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck).
I’m not sure if I can picture this book working as a movie. I think the guy who directed The Royal Tenenbaums might have been able to handle the odd material, but we’ll have to just have to wait and see how this Ryan Murphy makes out with it.
As for the lawsuit, it sounds like good comedy and I wish I could sit on that jury.