We are delighted that the new year brings new fiction author Simeon Marsalis in with it, he appearing with his engaging debut novel, As Lie Is to Grin (Catapult). Rich in present and historical allusion, this is a smart coming-into-adult age story - and more.
“Presented as a combination of diary entries and fragments from a novel within the narrative, Marsalis’s slim, ambitious debut tackles loss and racial identity. The protagonist, David, transitions from living on Long Island with his single mother to his freshman year as a black student at the predominantly white University of Vermont … In Vermont, David becomes interested in the work and life of Harlem Renaissance writer Jean Toomer, particularly the author’s 1923 novel Cane and his resistance to being labeled by race … As racial guilt and confusion cause David to unravel, Marsalis incisively comments on a wide range of ideas, from authenticity to architecture.” - Publishers Weekly.
“In his debut novel, Simeon Marsalis crafts a trippy and transgressive tale that bends the recognizable world in startling ways to broaden our understanding of what it means to be young, gifted, and black in America today. Simeon, I salute you. Your time to shine.” —Jeffery Renard Allen.