Liars and Saints: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


This extraordinary first novel set in California follows the Catholic Santerre family, beginning with Yvette and Teddy, through half a century, and concerns a lie that is passed down from generation to generation, and how it affects the family. At times funny, at times deeply moving, Liars and Saints showcases Maile Meloy's gifts as a writer (apparent in her ealier collection of short stories, Half in Love), and a deep understanding of the American family.

— From John

Description


A richly textured novel tells a story of sex and longing, love and loss, and of the deceit that can lie at the heart of family relationships. “Each chapter…has the seductive aura of a finely crafted story. Liars and Saints is instructive and bittersweet and yet somehow never nostalgic” (Los Angeles Times).

Set in California, Liars and Saints follows four generations of the Catholic Santerre family from World War II to the present. In a family driven as much by jealousy and propriety as by love, an unspoken tradition of deceit is passed from generation to generation. When tragedy shatters their precarious domestic lives, it takes astonishing courage and compassion to bring them back together.

By turns funny and disturbing, irreverent and profound, Liars and Saints is a masterful display of Maile Meloy’s prodigious gifts and of her penetrating insight into an extraordinary American family and into the nature of human love. “Meloy may be the first great American realist of the twenty-first century: The Santerres aren’t real but they feel like they are, and the reader will not soon forget them” (The Boston Globe).

About the Author


Maile Meloy is the author of the story collection Half in Love and the novel Liars and Saints, which was shortlisted for the 2005 Orange Prize. Meloy's stories have been published in The New Yorker, and she has received The Paris Review's Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in California.

Praise For…


The New York Times Book Review A spectacular first novel.

The Boston Globe A tour de force.

The New York Times Magazine Maile Meloy combines the meticulous realism of domestic fiction with the witchery of a natural-born storyteller.

San Francisco Chronicle Remarkable...Bittersweet, wise, with a fantastic sense of character and history...Fifteen minutes after opening this book, a reader is apt not just to care about the Santerres but also to feel like one of them.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780743261982
ISBN-10: 0743261984
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: July 13th, 2004
Pages: 272
Language: English