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Inside Move: Readers addicted to memoir culture

Carr opens up about drug usage

Ever since ascending to the pulpit of Monday Business Day columnist at the New York Times, David Carr has wielded a lot of influence. He’s written about the foibles of the newspaper biz, gently chided Michael Eisner for his new TV gig and described the “illusion” and “lusty fashion” that characterized “Crash’s” celebration of its Oscar win.

Now he’s looking to tell a different story: his own tale of drug addiction.

Insiders say Carr is shopping a book proposal about the period in his life when he was an addict.

In the post-James Frey era, aren’t recovery memoirs supposed to be verboten? Perhaps. But according to one insider, the story will be told in an unusual way, possibly using the conceit of a reporter unearthing a story. A publishing vet says, “It will sell for six figures, I’m sure.”

Carr’s agent, Philippa Brophy of Sterling Lord, did not return a call seeking comment.

In addition to writing the Monday column, Carr also penned “The Carpetbagger” blog, part of the Times’ larger effort to take on awards season.

The Gray Lady can have an uneven attitude about book leave. Some reporters stay on the job, but others — like film critic A.O. Scott, who recently left for a little while to write his book about postwar American fiction — will slip out for a few months.

If Carr, who does a lot more reporting than the usual columnist, did temporarily vacate his post, that might create a gap at the paper — and could make certain entertainment execs more than a little happy.

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