by Sarah Manguso
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Pub Date 23 Jul 2024 | Archive Date 31 Oct 2024
A nuclear family can destroy a woman artist. I’d always known that. But I’d never suspected how easily I’d fall into one anyway.
When Jane, an aspiring writer, meets filmmaker John Bridges, they both want the same things: to be in love, to live a successful, creative life, and to be happy. When they marry, Jane believes she has found everything she was looking for, including—a few years later—all the attendant joys and labors of motherhood. But it’s not long until Jane finds herself subsumed by John’s ambitions, whims, and ego; in short, she becomes a wife.
As Jane’s career flourishes, their marriage starts to falter. Throughout the upheavals of family life, Jane tries to hold it all together. That is, until John leaves her.
Liars is a tour de force of wit and rage, telling the blistering story of a marriage as it burns to the ground, and of a woman rising inexorably from its ashes.
"Liars is a triumph and a revelation. Despite its title, this might be the most honest marriage novel I have ever read. Sarah Manguso’s writing is furious, elegant, bitter, tender, frightening, and deeply funny. I loved this book.”
—Claire Dederer, bestselling author of Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma
“An exquisitely creepy book about one of our most horrifying institutions: marriage. I quickly devoured it and loved it.”
—Myriam Gurba, author of Creep
“I read Liars in one breathless, refuse-to-be-interrupted sitting. I was walloped on every page—by the painful familiarity of the story, by the all-at-onceness of the life described in these pages, by the brilliance of Manguso’s storytelling. No one does concision and juxtaposition better than Sarah Manguso. I furiously underlined passages and spoke aloud into an empty room as I read: oof and yes and hell no! I’m going to be returning to—and learning from—this book for years.”
—Maggie Smith, New York Times bestselling author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful
“From the first page I was spellbound, entranced by Sarah Manguso's deceptively simple but fathoms-deep storytelling. There's an incredible force that underlies this work, propulsive and wild and a little bit scary. This book deserves to be read and reread again to fully absorb its primal power and truth.”
—Emily Gould, author of Friendship and Perfect Tunes
“Intimate and fierce, Liars is a portrait of a marriage corroded by creative envy and a searing examination of the cost of literary ambition.”
—Isabel Kaplan, author of NSFW: A Novel and the viral online essay ‘My boyfriend, a writer, broke up with me because I’m a writer’