When it comes to fiction, why are people so obsessed with authenticity and so appalled by literary deception? Does it matter who tells a story? And what do novels that confront these ideas have to tell us? Our guest this month is the writer Yiyun Li, whose latest novel The Book of Goose is about an intense friendship between two girls in rural postwar France. When Agnes and Fabienne write a book of stories together, a simple lie about the book’s authorship sends Agnes’ life in an unexpected direction. So in honour of their act of literary creation - and obfuscation - we wanted to devote our show to the idea of literary deception. Listen in for thoughts on authenticity, literary hoaxes, unreliable narrators and all the usual recommendations.

Recommendations on the theme, Deception:

Octavia: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee

Carrie: The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante

General recommendations:

Octavia: Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez

Yiyun: The Hero of This Book by Elizabeth McCracken

Carrie: The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller

Find a list of all recommended books at: https://uk.bookshop.org/lists/november-2022-deception-with-yiyun-li

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This episode is sponsored by Picador: https://www.panmacmillan.com/picador

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