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A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself
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Published:
HMH Books 2021
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Description

"Wise, bracingly honest...A reassuring reality check...Exhilirating." —New York Times Book Review "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 "There is nothing superfluous in these pages...A novel that...earns its place on the shelf alongside the frank and sometimes acerbic memoirs of Rachel Cusk and Anne Enright." —Claire Messud, Harper's 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 FortunesA 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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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/05/2021
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780544273221
ASIN:
B081TS4ML6
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Peter Ho Davies. (2021). A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself. HMH Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Peter Ho Davies. 2021. A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself. HMH Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Peter Ho Davies, A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself. HMH Books, 2021.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Peter Ho Davies. A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself. HMH Books, 2021. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jan 06, 2021 16:01:27
Date Updated:
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        PETER HO DAVIES is the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of The Fortunes and The Welsh Girl (long-listed for the Booker Prize). Chosen by Granta as one of the Best of Young British Novelists, he is on the faculty of the graduate program in creative writing at the University of Michigan.

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shortDescription

"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
"There is nothing superfluous in these pages...A novel that...earns its place on the shelf alongside the frank and sometimes acerbic memoirs of Rachel Cusk and Anne Enright."
Claire Messud, Harper's
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...

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title
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fullDescription

"Wise, bracingly honest...A reassuring reality check...Exhilirating." —New York Times Book Review
"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
"There is nothing superfluous in these pages...A novel that...earns its place on the shelf alongside the frank and sometimes acerbic memoirs of Rachel Cusk and Anne Enright." —Claire Messud, Harper's
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
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 5, 2020
        Davies (The Fortunes) delves into fatherhood in his thoughtful latest, intertwining musings on pregnancy, marriage, family life, and work. The unnamed narrator, a writer and creative writing professor, makes the difficult decision with his wife to terminate their pregnancy after the fetus tests positive for mosaicism and their doctor gives them a long list of potential birth defects. A subsequent successful pregnancy brings new fears over their son’s development, as the couple processes their internalized shame over the abortion and their son’s potential autism (“Abortion is shameful, because pregnancy is shameful, because sex is shameful, because periods are shameful. It almost makes me relieved we had a boy,” the wife says). Davies explores their emotions in unflinching honesty, as the narrator contends with lingering fears over getting their son tested for autism. Davies’s smooth prose and ruminations on language (a synonym for “imagine,” the narrator considers, is also “to conceive”) are the stars of this work. 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. Agent: Maria Massie, Massie & McQuilkin Literary.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 1, 2020
        Davies' rigorously truthful examination of fatherhood explores the fallout from an abortion and the difficulties that follow a second pregnancy. Prenatal tests suggest--but not conclusively--that something is very wrong with their unborn child, and an unnamed couple decides on an abortion. The next pregnancy proceeds normally until the baby turns blue on the delivery table and is whisked off to intensive care. Everything seems to be fine; their son comes home after four days, and they settle down to the sleep-deprived routine of life with an infant. But they panic when he cries, and when he does fall asleep, they stand outside his door listening to make sure he's breathing. In a third-person narrative from the father's point of view, Davies unsentimentally captures the mind-numbing tedium coupled with blinding love that new parents feel in prose as spare as it is emotionally resonant. When the boy's preschool teacher "has concerns" even readers without children are likely to share the parents' dread and anguish. The narrative moves briskly through key episodes: The son gets all kinds of physical and occupational therapy, the spouses go back to work (she's at a university press, he's a writer and teacher), their marriage is strained, the boy's kindergarten teacher hints he might be autistic. His parents can't bear to get him tested: "They've been afraid of tests for so long. All his life." Their uncertainty over the abortion will never be resolved (references to Schr�dinger's cat abound), and the husband's decision to volunteer as an escort at an abortion clinic infuriates his wife, who snarls, "You act like it happened to you!" It's a tribute to Davies' skill and sensitivity that we feel how much they still love each other despite bad sex, jealousies, and endless worry over their son. When they finally have him tested, the results are once again ambiguous, but they are learning to accept "his normal." 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.

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        December 1, 2020
        Once upon a time, when the father was a young boy--the same age as his young son now--he wanted to be a crossing guard. After that, he wanted to be a writer. "'And now you are one!'" the son gleefully remarks. What the father doesn't reveal to his precious child is that "he's also grown up to be a man who aborts babies, puts his own father in a home." What might seem to be actions too easy to judge, even by this grown man himself, is, of course, not; the decisions we make shape and are shaped by the li(v)es we live. That never-knowing haunts Ho Davies' (The Fortunes, 2016) brief, admittedly autobiographical new novel, a raw, intimate look at a couple's journey into parenthood, from the choice to abort their first pregnancy after a diagnosis of mosaicism to the arrival of a son after a difficult birth to the many tests his delayed development requires to the milestones of mundanity and triumph both. What began as a short story, "Chance," published in 2012, has since matured into a resonant treatise on identity, family, grieving, writing, and "the taking and telling of other people's stories."

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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