by Steven Gillis


by Steven Gillis


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Eric McCanus is a novelist with the misfortune of having written his one great book when he was young. Struggling to write more, recently divorced, while still missing his ex-wife, Eric becomes convinced that happy relationships are unsustainable. Determined to prove the accuracy of his theory, Eric stumbles upon a seemingly perfect couple at the market. Convinced the marriage of Cara and Matt can’t be as successful as it appears, Eric does what he can to break them apart. What follows is a psychological and philosophical comedy of errors. Liars is an exploration of love, relationships, and human interaction, a madcap romp through the vestiges of modern affairs, revolving around five characters, each spun drunk on the batterings of love while attempting to sustain themselves in a false world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945572470
Publisher: Rare Bird Books
Publication date: 11/07/2017
Pages: 322
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Steven Gillis is the author of five novels and two short story collections. A founding member of the Ann Arbor Book Festival Board of Directors, and a finalist for the 2007 Ann Arbor News Citizen of the Year, Steven taught writing at Eastern Michigan University. In 2004 Steven founded 826Michigan, a mentoring program for students. In 2006 Steven co-founded Dzanc Books. Steve lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Mary, and two dogs, and regular visits from their kids, Anna and Zach. Steven can be contacted at and

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"The writing is superb, the characters flawed and fascinating, and passages worth highlighting for how they capture the human condition."
Star Tribune

"A smart chamber drama about the ways aesthetics can govern lives—and, at times, can make people toxic to those around them."
Kirkus Reviews

"Liars moves brilliantly back and forth between the feelings of love and defeat. Gillis is a master puppeteer; his characters embody the broken gracefulness that is alive in the everyday lives of the people around us."

"Steven Gillis was born to write Liars, the mesmerizing, noirish story of Eric McCanus, a writer, professor, music aficionado, bon vivant. This lyrical, fast-paced novel is chock-full of intrigue, slight paranoia, plans gone awry, and outright mystery. One couple, pushing the same grocery cart, serves as Gillis’s madeleine. And then the reader’s taken on one fun bumpy jolting ride."
George Singleton, author of Calloustown

Writers may control the plot on the page, but can they bend real-life to their purposes? In the story of writer and dilettante Eric McManus, Gillis explores the slippery slope between love and commitment, with McManus determined to prove love's folly by interfering in the marriage of a happy couple. Reminiscent of Pinter and Mamet, Gillis writes a sharp but strangely vulnerable comedy of errors that shows sometimes the ringmaster is really the dancing bear.
Jen Michalski, author of The Summer She Was Under Water

"Steven Gillis' new novel, Liars, is what we've come to expect from this master storyteller. Liars epitomizes what Faulkner said all literature should be, the human heart in conflict with itself. Along the way you'll be dazzled by Gillis' fluid prose and wildly entertained at the human comedy playing out from beginning to end."
Robert Lopez, author of All Back Full

"What happens to an artist whose reputation is built on a past success he fears he can’t replicate? What happens if that same artist also happens to be a polyamorous ex-husband who regards every relationship as “its own intimate deception”? In his fiendishly clever new book Liars, Steven Gillis shows us a character who—in his desire to sabotage a relationship whose perceived sincerity upsets the cynical foundation upon which he’s built his life—manages to destroy and create at the same time, borrowing details of the reality he manipulates so that he might resuscitate the moribund artist and partner within."
​​Zach Wyner​, author of ​​​What We Never Had​

"Both romantic and hilarious, this book is for anyone who has ever had or has ever wondered what it would be like to have a relationship. I think that pretty much means everyone."

Praise for Benchere In Wonderland
"Plaudits are due for Steven Gillis's brilliant fifth novel, an ambitious treatise on the role of art and the artist in modern day society. Gillis has an uncanny knack for depicting the best and worst of humankind... (while) carefully examining the fallibility and resolve of the artist."
Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Consequence of Skating
"A compelling meditation on media influence and social isolation. Gillis' fourth novel explores the struggle for redemption and acceptance in a world saturated by information."

Praise for The Law of Strings
"This story collection hooked me from story one and continued to captivate to the end. Expert dialogue and movement and resolution in each piece. This is a book you could read in one sitting... the pace is that swift, the stories that good."
Stephen Dixon, two time National Book Award finalist

Praise for Temporary People
"Here is a fable for our time, and for just about any other time you can imagine."
Chris Bachelder, finalist for 2016 National Book Award

Praise for Giraffes
"Gillis' stories are illuminatingly strange, filled with power, electric, and will stay with you long after you think you've gone to sleep."
Stephen Elliott, author of The Adderall Diaries

Praise for The Weight of Nothing
"Beguilingly mystical!"
Publishers Weekly

Praise for Walter Falls
"An exceptionally well written novel. Walter Falls is highly recommended as a powerful and moving saga of the human condition."
Midwest Book Review

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