The Book of Lies

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Bright, ambitious, and handsome, Ross Ohrenstedt is a high flier in the fashionable field of queer studies. He has just taken a prestigious university position in Los Angeles and has been appointed to oversee the collection of papers and works of a leading light of the gay literary salon known as the Purple Circle.

Ross stumbles across a lost work by an unknown author and his quest to identify the mystery writer and achieve the glory of scholastic tenure unveils increasingly bizarre and unbalanced facts about a group of writers who in the 1970s and 1980s broke new ground in the creation of a gay literary sensibility. But the dark truth contained within The Book of Lies is even more startling.

With biting wit and a lush sense of place and character, Felice Picano’s daring novel is at once a stylish mystery, a comical roman-à-clef, and a wicked send-up of the new Ivory Tower.
First published to acclaim in 1998, this new edition for 2020 features a foreword by David Bergman (The Violet Hour).

Author: Felice Picano

Paperback Published 9 October 2020 440 pages

“Funny, dark, sexy, shocking, and, yes, smart. Picano skewers the pedagogically pretentious with ease and wit. A wonderful novel.” — Bay Area Reporter

“Picano treats his nonpulpy subject matter – grieving, the book business, the teaching business – in a pulpy way, and the results are surprisingly entertaining.” — The New York Times Book Review

“Felice Picano's new novel, his 19th book, is a story rich with history – a history that Picano himself was part of and helped shape ...” — The Washington Blade

“Leave it to Felice Picano to add a walloping dose of melodrama and intrigue to a tale already redrawing genre boundaries … What Picano does is take an academic mystery (subject matter that might have proved tedious or solipsistic in lesser hands) and morphs it into something new – a page-turning, often campy, occasionally serious critique of academia and historical truth, literary celebrity, and the imminent future of America.” — Philadelphia Tribune

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