A Lie About My Father: A Memoir
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A Lie About My Father: A Memoir

by John Burnside
     
 

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My father told lies all his life and, because I knew no better, I repeated them. Lies about everything, great and small, were the very fabric of my world.

The lie in the title of astonishing memoir Lie About My Father is born of shame. Traveling around upstate New York in the nineties, John Burnside can't bear

Overview

My father told lies all his life and, because I knew no better, I repeated them. Lies about everything, great and small, were the very fabric of my world.

The lie in the title of astonishing memoir Lie About My Father is born of shame. Traveling around upstate New York in the nineties, John Burnside can't bear to share the truth about his father during a casual conversation with a hitchhiker. He covers his uneasiness with a lie. It felt natural to do so.

His father, abandoned as a baby on a stranger's doorstep, created a masterful web of deceit to erase this unbearable fact. John, even as a child, represented everything that was wrong with the world and became the recipient of his father's selfhatred in the form of enraged violence, and worse, petty, cruel belittlement. Growing up in the tough working-class neighborhoods of Scotland and later England, John learned to lie back to his father and, later, about his father.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A book by a master of language, pushing language to do what it can. Fastidious, supple and unsparing, it is a book about lies that is more true than you can say.” —Hilary Mantel, London Review of Books

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555974671
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Publication date:
05/01/2007
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.87(d)

Meet the Author

JOHN BURNSIDE has published five works of fiction and nine collections of poetry, including The Asylum Dance, which won the 2001 Whitbread Poetry Award.

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