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A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself

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A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself traces the complex consequences of one of the most personal yet public, intimate yet political decisions a family can make: to have a child, and conversely, to choose 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.

The world needs more stories like this one, more of this kind of courage, more of this kind of love.” –Sigrid Nunez

“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

“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

“Another triumph by an author whose books I love.” –Joan Silber

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PETER HO DAVIES’ most recent books are the novel A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself, New York Times Notable Book of the Yearand The Art of Revision: The Last Word, his first work of nonfiction. Other books include the novels, The Fortunes, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award, and the The Welsh Girl, long-listed for the Booker Prize, as well as two critically acclaimed collections of short stories. His fiction has appeared in HarpersThe AtlanticThe Paris Review and Granta and been anthologized in O. Henry Prize Stories and Best American Short Stories.

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The fifteenth volume in the Art of series takes an expansive view of revision—on the page and in life

One of Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021

Although revision is essential to writing, readers only see the final draft, leaving the practice shrouded in mystery. Peter Ho Davies addresses this invisibility by examining his own work, alongside classic and contemporary authors, while also reaching beyond literature to film adaptations and retconning. And a story about his father—told and retold across the boo —serves as impetus for the exhilarating conclusion—that it is not just the writing, but the writer, who must change.

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