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A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself

Peter Ho Davies

5 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Short stories

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.

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Praise for A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself

  • 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

  • Davies explores their emotions with unflinching honesty . . . [His] 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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Peter Ho Davies

Peter Ho Davies is the author of the novels The Fortunes ,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.

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