A Taxonomy of Lies, by Amanda Marbais
A Taxonomy of Lies is a collection in which self-deception can lead to shapeshifting, magic, and metamorphosis. Folklore punctures these contemporary stories like the bite of a grizzly, like a woods growing through your nightstand. An excessively lonely shut-in turns into a colossal squid and is cared for by an unrequited love. Two fighting teenagers transform into Muntjac deer, and learn to get along. Each character struggles to communicate amidst bad dates, insecurities, and failing friendships. Ultimately, they form the most tenuous connections.
Amanda Marbais’ fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Apalachee Review, Portland Review, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, The Collagist, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and other journals. She lives in Chicago where she is the Managing Editor of Requited Journal.
If realist writers present fiction to the reader like trendy food, with telling details the spare garnish to something locally-sourced yet cheeky, Marbais does the same—only instead of grilled tuna sliders with ginger-carrot slaw, she serves up a squid-man drinking Dewar's. Pairing precise, observational language with aggressive invention, Marbais upends the table--truly a moveable feast.
~Emily Anderson, author of Little Novels, BlazeVOX Books
Marbais like Ovid deeply understands the tumult of metamorphosis. Yet in her world change offers no protection or enlightenment. Her stories instead speak to the petty persistence of our humanity, and this is why they are compelling.
~Nicholas Hayes, author of NIV 39 & 27, BlazeVOX Books