By Simeon Marsalis
Shortlisted for the 2017 heart for Fiction First Novel Prize
“Simeon Marsalis’s As Lie Is to Grin isn't really a satire intended to coach us classes, nor an announcement of wish or depression, yet anything extra visionary—a portrait of a tender man’s unraveling, an outline of ways race shapes and deforms us, a coming-of-age tale that also is a disagreement with American heritage and amnesia. The booklet achieves extra in its short span than so much books do at thrice the length.” —Zachary Lazar, writer of I Pity the terrible Immigrant
David, the narrator of Simeon Marsalis’s singular first novel, is a freshman on the college of Vermont who's suffering to outline himself opposed to the white backdrop of his college. he's additionally mourning the lack of his manhattan female friend, whose grandfather’s alma mater he has selected to wait. while David met Melody, he lied to her approximately who he was once and the place he lived, making a extra interesting tale than his personal. This lie haunts and nearly unhinges him as he makes an attempt to discover his precise voice and identity.
On campus in Vermont, David imagines encounters with a scholar from the prior who may possibly symbolize both Melody’s grandfather or Jean Toomer, the writer of the acclaimed Harlem Renaissance novel Cane (1923). He turns into captivated with the sorts of American structure “upon land that was once stolen,” and with the university’s previous and attitudes as recorded in its newspaper, The Cynic. And he's annoyed with the best way the net and libraries are curated, making it tricky to discover the knowledge he must make connections among the university’s background, African American heritage, and his personal life.
In big apple, the former 12 months, Melody confides a stunning mystery approximately her grandfather’s pupil days on the college of Vermont. while she and her father collude with the rationale to satisfy David’s mom in Harlem—craving what they give thought to an actual adventure of the black world—their plan ends explosively. The name of this amazing and emotionally robust novel is electrified by means of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem “We put on the masks” (1896): “We put on the masks that grins and lies . . .”
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Extra info for As Lie Is to Grin: A Novel
As Lie Is to Grin: A Novel by Simeon Marsalis