As Lie Is to Grin (Paperback)

Staff Pick Logo
As Lie Is to Grin Cover Image
$16.95
In Stock
Northshire Manchester
3 on hand, as of Nov 21 10:15am
(Fiction)
Northshire Saratoga
1 on hand, as of Nov 21 10:15am
(Fiction)

Staff Reviews


An African American student's start at the University of Vermont packs a racially disturbing shock concerning his girlfriend's grandfather. The student's obsessions with his girlfriend, architecture, and the novel Cane often frustrate his quest to overcome the troubling discovery, and the twisted legacy of race. — Mike Hare

Description


Shortlisted for the 2017 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

"Simeon Marsalis's As Lie Is to Grin is not a satire meant to teach us lessons, nor a statement of hope or despair, but something more visionary--a portrait of a young man's unraveling, a depiction of how race shapes and deforms us, a coming-of-age story that is also a confrontation with American history and amnesia. The book achieves more in its brief span than most books do at three times the length." --Zachary Lazar, author of I Pity the Poor Immigrant

David, the narrator of Simeon Marsalis's singular first novel, is a freshman at the University of Vermont who is struggling to define himself against the white backdrop of his school. He is also mourning the loss of his New York girlfriend, whose grandfather's alma mater he has chosen to attend. When David met Melody, he lied to her about who he was and where he lived, creating a more intriguing story than his own. This lie haunts and almost unhinges him as he attempts to find his true voice and identity.

On campus in Vermont, David imagines encounters with a student from the past who might represent either Melody's grandfather or Jean Toomer, the author of the acclaimed Harlem Renaissance novel Cane (1923). He becomes obsessed with the varieties of American architecture "upon land that was stolen," and with the university's past and attitudes as recorded in its newspaper, The Cynic. And he is frustrated with the way the Internet and libraries are curated, making it difficult to find the information he needs to make connections between the university's history, African American history, and his own life.

In New York, the previous year, Melody confides a shocking secret about her grandfather's student days at the University of Vermont. When she and her father collude with the intent to meet David's mother in Harlem--craving what they consider an authentic experience of the black world--their plan ends explosively. The title of this impressive and emotionally powerful novel is inspired by Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem "We Wear the Mask" (1896): "We wear the mask that grins and lies . . ."

About the Author


Simeon Marsalis was born in 1990 and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2013. He has lived in New York, New Hampshire, and New Orleans. As Lie Is to Grin is his first book.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781936787593
ISBN-10: 1936787598
Publisher: Catapult
Publication Date: October 10th, 2017
Pages: 160
Language: English
Northshire Manchester Store

Northshire Manchester
4869 Main Street
Manchester Center, VT 05255
ph. 802.362.2200
ph. (toll free) 800.437.3700
Sun-Thu 10am-7pm Fri-Sat 10am-9pm
Directions to Manchester

Northshire Saratoga Store

Northshire Saratoga
424 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
ph. 518.682.4200
ph. (toll free) 855.339.5990
Sun-Thu 10am-7pm Fri-Sat 10am-9pm
Directions to Saratoga Springs