New L.A. reading series asks: Fact or fiction?

Barnsdall Gallery Theater
The new Bamboozled reading series kicks off on April Fools’ Day at the Barnsdall Gallery Theater in Los Feliz.
(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

In the past, fiction disguised as fact has infuriated readers. Oprah Winfrey took James Frey to task for the exaggerations in his not-entirely-true memoir “A Million Little Pieces.” Author Misha Defonseca was ordered by a court to return $22.5 million for her fabricated memoir of being a Jewish child raised by wolves during the Holocaust after it was discovered she was raised by her family, and wasn’t Jewish.

But a new reading series, Bamboozled, is jumping into the fact-or-fiction fray. Four writers will read stories that are either true or false, and the audience has to guess which is which.

Appropriately enough, the series begins Wednesday, April Fools’ Day.

The host is Rico Gagliano, of KPCC’s “Dinner Party Download” show, and novelist Diana Wagman (“The Care & Feeding of Exotic Pets”) helps put the series together. Future installments are expected to take place about four times per year, with different readers each time around.


Wednesday’s Bamboozled will feature Lisa Teasley, who has published novels, short stories and essays; young adult novelist and TV writer Cherry Chevapravatdumrong; comedic author Billy Lambrinides; and Deborah Vankin, who in addition to being on staff at the Los Angeles Times is the author of a graphic novel, “Poseurs.”

Winners of the fact-or-fiction queries will receive signed copies of the readers’ books.

Bamboozled will be presented at Barnsdall Gallery Theater in Los Feliz. It runs from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., with beverages and snacks available for purchase. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

Twitter: @paperhaus


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