A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself (Paperback)
“There are some stories that require as much courage to write as they do art. Peter Ho Davies’s achingly honest, searingly comic portrait of fatherhood is just such a story . . . The world needs more stories like this one, more of this kind of courage, more of this kind of love.” —Sigrid Nunez, National Book Award–winning author of The Friend
A heartbreaking, soul-baring novel about the repercussions of choice that “will strike a resonant chord with parents everywhere,” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) from the award-winning author of The Welsh Girl and The Fortunes
A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself traces the complex consequences of one of the most personal yet public, intimate yet political decisions a family can make: to have a child, and conversely, to choose not to have a child. A first pregnancy is interrupted by test results at once catastrophic and uncertain. A second pregnancy ends in a fraught birth, a beloved child, the purgatory of further tests—and questions that reverberate down the years.
When does sorrow turn to shame?
When does love become labor?
When does chance become choice?
When does a diagnosis become destiny?
And when does fact become fiction?
This spare, graceful narrative chronicles the flux of parenthood, marriage, and the day-to-day practice of loving someone. As challenging as it is vulnerable, as furious as it is tender, as touching as it is darkly comic, Peter Ho Davies’s new novel is an unprecedented depiction of fatherhood.
About the Author
PETER HO DAVIES’s novel, The Fortunes, won the Anisfield-Wolf Award and the Chautauqua Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He is also the author of The Welsh Girl, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and a London Times best-seller, as well as two critically acclaimed collections of short stories. His fiction has appeared in Harpers, the Atlantic, the Paris Review, and Granta and has been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and The Best American Short Stories.
“There are some stories that require as much courage to write as they do art. Peter Ho Davies’s achingly honest, searingly comic portrait of fatherhood is just such a story. A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself enacts to profound effect the dark shames, fears, and absurdities that are an inescapable part of family life. The world needs more stories like this one, more of this kind of courage, more of this kind of love.” —Sigrid Nunez, National Book Award–winning author of The Friend
“A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself is a novel about love—not fake love that blots out all else, but real-life love that, like a rose window, allows all other emotions to pass through it: guilt, shame, fury, duty, sorrow. Peter Ho Davies has written a brilliant book about modern marriage and parenthood, about choice and its fallout, that is hilarious and devastating, both true-to-life and a comforting fractured parable for our time.” —Elizabeth McCracken, best-selling author of Bowlaway
“I never miss a new book by Peter Ho Davies and A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself is his best yet. A taut, raw, clever work of autofiction with a real beating heart, this is the audacious tragicomic novel about fatherhood and long-term love we’ve been missing.” —Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn and Gold Fame Citrus
“Peter Ho Davies has long written brilliantly about accidents of culpability and their winding trails. In A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself he has given us a stunning novel of family life, scrupulous and astute, full of home truths in every sense. Another triumph by an author whose books I love.” —Joan Silber, National Book Critics Circle Award–winning author of Improvement
“Prose as spare as it is emotionally resonant . . . A tribute to Davies’s skill and sensitivity . . . A radiant conclusion affirms the daunting cost and overwhelming rewards of raising a child. Perfectly observed and tremendously moving: this will strike a resonant chord with parents everywhere.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A raw, intimate look at a couple’s journey into parenthood . . . a resonant treatise on identity, family, grieving, writing, and ‘the taking and telling of other people’s stories.’” —Booklist, starred review
“Davies’s meditation on the complexities of parenthood is at once celebration and absolution, finding truth in human contradictions.” —Publishers Weekly