Shockwaves still reverberate throughout the literary world from the 2006 revelation that the acclaimed author JT LeRoy—young, gender-fluid, a survivor of abuse and addiction, former sex worker—was actually a persona created by San Francisco-based writer Laura Albert. While other articles, books and films have attempted to trace the story's outlines, Jeff Feuerzeig's all-encompassing documentary is the first to delve deep into Albert's story. He juxtaposes her desire to experiment with identity and gender with her difficult childhood, roiled by bullying, her parents' divorce and institutionalizations. A history of calling helplines in alternate and changing personas, usually male, leads her to reach out to an SF child-services hotline as a troubled boy who calls himself Terminator. Urged by the therapist to write about his experiences, Terminator produces pages that lead to the emergence and publication of author JT LeRoy. But the more writers who loved and passed around the work—and the more Albert felt her avatar pushing for his materialization—the more a physical JT was called for, supplied by Albert's sister-in-law, with Albert going along as JT's assistant Speedie. There's a lot of material to unpack here—from the celebrity craze that emerged in support of the reclusive author (Billy Corgan, Courtney Love and Asia Argento are only some of the smitten) to the backlash that occurred when the person behind the person was revealed—and Author does so in very compelling fashion, with a wealth of home movies as well as some remarkable phone messages from some of JT's acolytes. A lengthy present-day interview with Albert is woven into the archival footage, where she memorably reflects on the events and circumstances of JT LeRoy. "The books are fiction," she reminds viewers, "the rest is extra."