I was assigned this novel for one of my classes, and I was surprised to find it so enjoyable! Usually, books required for classes are dry and flat, long-winded and often difficult to understand. But this novel was one that I’d recommend to my friends and family, and I hope that some of you find it enjoyable, too!
Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir is a unique read from cover to cover. Lauren Slater delights with the challenge of determining what is real vs. not-real in this powerful tale of her life. She weaves together the story of her youth, when she was diagnosed with epilepsy and started to develop neurological and psychological difficulties. Slater also struggled with the compulsion to lie for much of her life, which is apparent in the novel–it makes it difficult to discern what has actually happened in her life, and what has not. This is a beautiful aspect of the novel, though frustrating at times, because it is an accurate depiction of her personal experiences. In a sense, it doesn’t really matter what the “truth” is; through numerous metaphors, Slater is able to communicate her experiences with her illness, as well as her recovery through creativity and storytelling.
I had a hard time putting this novel down–I read it in one weekend! Of course, I was working under a school deadline, but I think I would’ve finished it pretty quickly no matter what. It’s a really powerful story. This is a quick read, just over 200 pages, and it really pushes you to think about how we all create our own stories about how we see the world.