A heartbreaking, soul-baring novel about the repercussions of choice from the award-winning author of The Welsh Girl and The Fortunes.
'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
When does sorrow turn to shame? When does love become labour? When does chance become choice? And when does fact become fiction?
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 woman's first pregnancy is interrupted by test results at once catastrophic and uncertain, leaving her and her husband, a writer, reeling. A second pregnancy ends in a fraught birth, a beloved child, the purgatory of further tests - and questions that reverberate down the years.
This spare, supple 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.
A powerful account of fatherhood . . . a complicated story, told with fearless honesty. The prose is rueful, spare and matter-of-fact, but emotions churn beneath the clean surface. It can be very funny, but it can also stop you in your tracks. - Guardian
His deceptively simple, pared-back style is ideal for detailing difficult emotions . . . Davies's bold tell-all policy makes for moving and compelling reading . . . admirable for the brave new things it has to say about shame, regret, fatherhood and love - Sunday Times
A courageous, honest book . . . has a light touch in exploring other moral dilemmas and uncertainties with which we all grapple, putting your emotions through the wringer in prose full of piercing emotional shards . . . This tender, thought-provoking novel captures the doubts, the worries, the pain and the sheer joy of being a parent - Independent
Davies treats twists of fate with clear-eyed realism, humor, and grace - New Yorker
[It] creates controlled art out of life's messy pain . . . There is nothing superfluous in these pages . . . A novel about the comedy and travails of parenting a "twice exceptional" child that earns its place on the shelf alongside the frank and sometimes acerbic memoirs of Rachel Cusk and Anne Enright. - Harper's Magazine
Fierce paternal love spills off every page of this masterful book in a way that recalls Max Porter's
Peter Ho Davies is the author of the novels The Welsh Girl, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, The Fortunes, and A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself and two short story collections: The Ugliest House in the World, winner of the John Llewelyn Rhys and PEN/Macmillan prizes, and Equal Love, which was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
His writing has been widely anthologized, including selections for Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories, and in 2003 he was chosen as one of Granta magazine's Best of Young British Novelists. He has also won the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story.
Born in Britain to Welsh and Chinese parents, Davies now lives in the US where he is a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Michigan.