Liars

Liars

A Novel

About the Book

A searing novel about being a wife, a mother, and an artist, and how marriage makes liars of us all—from the author of Very Cold People and 300 Arguments

“Painful and brilliant—I loved it.”—Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot and Either/Or

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.
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Praise for Liars

“I have long been a fan of Sarah Manguso’s crystalline prose. . . . A furious, propulsive meditation on wifehood, motherhood and artistic ambition.”—NPR
 
“[A] painful and beautifully wrought story of a relationship . . . Manguso is a poet-novelist who knows brevity can whittle the sharpest knife.”—Vulture
 
“We know Manguso to be the kind of writer capable of walloping you with an insight when you least expect it, so to have her brain trained on the subject of an unraveling marriage after a baby makes us extremely curious and very very eager to read.”—Romper

“Powerful . . . an unflinchingly true and honest depiction of a marriage turning from gold to dust—the resentments and disappointments that can rot the heart.”—Miranda Cowley Heller, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Paper Palace

“I couldn’t put it down. An astounding feat, spanning a fourteen-year marriage with concision and specificity . . . It sliced all the way through me. So many women will connect with this book.”—Rachel Yoder, author of Nightbitch

“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, author of Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma

“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.”—Maggie Smith, author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful

Liars is a crime novel, except the crime is heterosexual marriage. It’s a whodunit and the villain is the patriarchy. . . . A brilliantly paced, gripping novel of love and betrayal.”—Lyz Lenz, author of This American Ex-Wife

“An exquisitely creepy book about one of our most horrifying institutions: marriage. I quickly devoured it and loved it.”—Myriam Gurba, author of Creep

“From the first page I was spellbound. 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

“Shocking and captivating.”—Julia Phillips, author of Bear and Disappearing Earth

“Painful and brilliant—I loved it.”—Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot and Either/Or

“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’

“An excoriating portrait of a marriage . . . [Manguso] is at the top of her game.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A slow-motion portrait of a collapsing marriage . . . a bracing story of a woman on the verge.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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About the Author

Sarah Manguso
Sarah Manguso is the author of nine books, including the novel Very Cold People, a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award. Manguso is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and the Rome Prize. She lives in Los Angeles. More by Sarah Manguso
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