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A Book of Untruths

Miranda Doyle

A deeply original memoir about the lies we tell ourselves and the flexibility of ‘truth’.

Date Published
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A Book of Untruths is a family story told through a series of lies. Each short chapter features one of these lies and each lie builds to form a picture of a life—Miranda Doyle’s life as she struggles to understand her complicated family and her own place within it.

This is a book about love, family and marriage. It is about the fallibility of human beings and the terrible things we do to one another. It is about the ways we get at—or avoid—the truth. And it is about storytelling itself: how we build a sense of ourselves and our place in the world.

A Book of Untruths is a surprising, shocking and invigorating book that edges towards the truth through an engagement with falsehood. It brings questions to its readers; not answers.

Critic Reviews

A true writer’s voice.

Irvine Welsh
Critic Reviews

A curious memoir… Doyle has had the clever idea of structuring her story through a series of 70 of the lies told in her childhood and early adulthood. In the process, she explores the nature of lying and asks why lies should beget lies within marriages and families. Although this is her first book, Doyle is a natural and spirited writer, and her story is confidently and stylishly told… [an] elegantly ambivalent book.

Daily Telegraph
Critic Reviews

A refreshingly original debut.

Independent i
Critic Reviews

[A] powerful, distinctive memoir... related in a series of short passages of numbered lies – building to form a kind of literary mosaic of a life story. While Doyle sometimes muses conceptually on the essence of truth, lies and memory, it soon becomes clear that her story is quite enough on its own … the darkest truths are teased out, and examined – with Doyle challenging the reader to stick with her tense, candid, sage testimony to the last unsettling, rewarding word.

Critic Reviews

[A] dazzling memoir... [an] extraordinary evocation of the fragility of family, of sanity, of children, of us all.

Irish Times
Critic Reviews

Doyle faces up to some of the ghosts in her family’s past and a difficult childhood in a witty and engaging memoir. [She] tells the story of her life through a series of lies, while exploring the wider human nature to fib… Each short chapter looks at the lies told either to, or by Doyle, and those around her and builds up a picture of her life through the themes of love, marriage and family.


Miranda Doyle graduated with an MA from Goldsmiths in Creative and Life Writing and has been mentored through the Arts Council Escalator scheme. Her autobiographical story, ‘Autopsy’, was selected by Irvine Welsh for inclusion in the Scottish Book Trust’s Days Like This anthology, and broadcast on Radio Scotland. A Book of Untruths is her first book.

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