The stories behind the story
In 2016 we were all comprehensively had. It was a terrible year for truth. People say that during the noughties someone crossed a line. Maybe, they say, it was Blair with his torpid attitude towards the facts. That whole political façade, where we can believe what they say, seems to have come crashing down.
So if truth is beginning to feel as near extinction as the polar bear, and you care about bears then this is the book for you.
Through a set of autobiographical shorts, which mix memoir with scientific and psychological research, this book explores what can happen when we do not tell the truth. There are the lies that got me a husband, the lies that got me raped, and the lies that buried my grandfather twenty-four years before he reached his grave. There’s a Beefeater, at least one Illegal abortion, some sexually transmitted disease, loads of infidelity, an adoption, morning runs, much inappropriate behaviour and plenty of lies.
Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer prize winning novelist, when interviewed by the Guardian said: ‘Memoirs are not true. They are works of fiction.’
A Book of Untruths is a memoir, which acknowledges Chabon’s concerns. He is right. The line between truth and fiction is raddled. More than ever we need to value the place of truthfulness. This book has been written with a reverence for the facts.