Lies My Mother Never Told Me: A Memoir

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In her riveting memoir Lies My Mother Never Told Me, Kaylie Jones—the daughter of author James Jones (From Here to Eternity) and an acclaimed author in her own right (A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries; Celeste Ascending; As Soon As It Rains)—tells the poignant story of her relationship with her famous father and her alcoholic mother, and of her own struggles with the disease. A true story of privilege, loss, self-discovery, and redemption, Lies My Mother Never Told Me is Jones’s unforgettable account of a not-quite-fairy-tale childhood and adulthood defined by two constants: literature and alcohol.
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About the author

Kaylie Jones is the author of Celeste Ascending, As Soon as It Rains, and A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, which was made into a film starring Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Hershey.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Aug 25, 2009
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780061936494
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From "a fiercely intelligent writer" (The New York Times), a wry, poignant story of the difficult love between a mother and a son

In the winter of 2000, shortly after his mother's death from cancer and malnourishment, Donald Antrim, author of the absurdist, visionary masterworks Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World, The Hundred Brothers, and The Verificationist, began writing about his family. In pieces that appeared in The New Yorker and were anthologized in Best American Essays, Antrim explored
his intense and complicated relationships with his mother, Louanne, an artist and teacher who was, at her worst, a ferociously destabilized and destabilizing alcoholic; his gentle grandfather, who lived in the mountains of North Carolina and who always hoped to save his daughter from herself; and his father, who married Louanne twice.

The Afterlife is not a temporally linear coming-of-age memoir; instead, Antrim follows a logic of unconscious life, of dreams and memories, of fantasies and psychoses, the way in which the world of the alcoholic becomes a sleepless, atemporal world. In it, he comes to terms with—and fails to comes to terms with—the nature of addiction and the broken states of loneliness, shame, and loss that remain beyond his power to fully repair. This is a tender and even blackly hilarious portrait of a family—faulty, cracked, enraging. It is also the story of the way the author works, in part through writing this book, to become a man more fully alive to himself and to others, a man capable of a life in which he may never learn, or ever hope to know, the nature of his origins.

A young widow must face the truth about her family—and herself: “At once a suspenseful mystery and a superlatively gripping story of self-discovery.” —Shelf Awareness
 
When Merryn Huntley is told by Dallas police that her wealthy husband has been killed in a car accident, along with a local waitress, her first instinct is to flee in order to protect her nine-year-old daughter. And the only place that feels safe enough is her mother’s beautiful, isolated home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
 
Merryn’s mother used to tell her: When you tell a lie, make sure you keep it as close to the truth as possible, because it will be easier to remember. Now, from the moment Merryn arrives, she’s forced into twisting the truth—about how much she knew of her husband’s shady business affairs; about her own secret lovers; and most importantly, about how she is beginning to doubt the one person who’s always been the greatest influence in her life: her mother.
 
When two FBI agents show up and ask Merryn questions, it only intensifies her compulsion to lie. But as her perfect life begins to crumble, she must decide whether she can face the most painful reality of all—that she has been lying to herself her entire life.
 
“A compulsively readable novel . . . With engaging characters, a compelling story, and a seductive sense of place, this is a literary treat.” —Booklist
 
“This fascinating novel bases its mystery not so much on unfolding events, although these are well paced, but instead on how a person can live a life parallel to the truth, based on an ever-shifting set of lies and misrepresentations. There’s real danger is remaking the truth to avoid conflict, and that is never more apparent than in this well crafted book.” —Reviewing the Evidence
 
“A seething portrait of a narcissistic mother . . . Jones keeps the action churning . . . but perhaps the novel’s greatest feat is Bibi, an all-too-real toxic monster.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“An impossible-to-put-down book.” —Ann Hood
#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S AWARD IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD • FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES BOOK PRIZE

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • Time • NPR • Good Morning America • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • The Economist • Financial Times • Newsday • New York Post • theSkimm • Refinery29 • Bloomberg • Self • Real Simple • Town & Country • Bustle • Paste • Publishers Weekly • Library Journal • LibraryReads • BookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue

“Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”—The New York Times Book Review
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