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'The Double Life of Liliane' by Lily Tuck: EW Review

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The Double Life of Liliane

Current Status:
In Season
Lily Tuck
Atlantic Monthly Press

We gave it a B

The National Book Award-winning author of 2004’s The News From Paraguay turns to her own life for inspiration in this intriguing, if slightly maddening, look at the way a writer is formed. As a child, the young, fiercely imaginative Liliane is fascinated by genealogy and spends hours spinning family lore into outsize accounts of run-ins with Abraham Lincoln and Jackie Kennedy. Gathering wild tales from her artist parents and their gabby relatives, she rarely fails to ask if the story is true. How much of this dizzingly intricate story is true remains unclear—the line between fact, fiction, and embroidered memory is never drawn distinctly. But don’t we all color our pasts in our own unknowable ways?