A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself Summary and Reviews

A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself

by Peter Ho Davies

A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself by Peter Ho Davies X
A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself by Peter Ho Davies
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2021
    240 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A heartbreaking, soul-baring novel about the repercussions of choice that "will strike a resonant chord with parents everywhere," (starred Kirkus) 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 experiences a family can have: to have a child, and conversely, the decision 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Davies' rigorously truthful examination of fatherhood explores the fallout from an abortion and the difficulties that follow a second pregnancy...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)

"While an anticlimactic, philosophical conclusion somewhat undermines the narrator's character development after he embraces his role as a father, it resonates with the key theme of paradoxes. Davies's meditation on the complexities of parenthood is at once celebration and absolution, finding truth in human contradictions." - Publishers Weekly

"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, bestselling 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

This information about A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Peter Ho Davies Author Biography

Photo: Bering Photography

Peter Ho Davie's latest book is A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself. His previous novel, The Fortunes, a New York Times Notable Book, won the Anisfield-Wolf Award and the Chautauqua Prize, and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. His first novel, The Welsh Girl, a London Times Best Seller, was long-listed for the Booker Prize. He has also published two short story collections, The Ugliest House in the World (winner of the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize, and the Oregon Book Award) and Equal Love (finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and a New York Times Notable Book).

Davies' work has appeared in Harper's, the Atlantic, the Paris Review, the Guardian, the Washington Post and TLS among others, and been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Peter Ho Davies's Website

Other books by Peter Ho Davies at BookBrowse
  • The Welsh Girl jacket
  • The Fortunes jacket
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