Book review highlights for Truth and Other Fictions
from the GLOBE AND MAIL, Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2009
"Human identities are forged in the fires of narrative. Without our stories, we don't know who or where we are. The short story may be one of literature's most striking examples of the way narrative creates meaning and identity...
Eva Tihanyi, a widely published poet and instructor at Niagara College in Welland, Ont., was born in Budapest in 1956. She edits a small magazine, In Retro, and for many years she reviewed fiction for The National Post, the Toronto Star and Books in Canada. Truth and Other Fictions is her first book of stories, and it is an impressive and promising debut.
As the title implies, the stories in Truth and Other Fictions turn on the mutable and contested nature of truth, opening with Green is the Most Difficult Colour, a tale set in Picasso's Paris studios and narrated by one of the many young model/lovers the artist exploited over his long run as the city's resident genius/provocateur/dirty old man. The issue of the nature of reality and the ambiguous difficulties entailed in trying to represent it that are introduced in this story resonate through the remaining stories, tales that are set in various locales and decades up to the present. Quoting Picasso, the narrator says: If there was a single truth, you couldn't make a hundred paintings of the same subject.' A hundred women, one man. A hundred truths. No truth at all. And you start with something. One woman, one man.
And so it goes throughout this wonderfully written collection of takes on the elusiveness of truth.
The author never sacrifices the particular human reality of her haracters to the larger theoretical concerns she invokes, and the persuasiveness of her characterizations and the luminous quality of her visual descriptions of cityscapes and landscapes is strong enough to support her intellectual ambitions."
For the complete review, please go to: "Canada, in short" at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/books/canada-in-short/article1193445/?service=email.
from the Quill and Quire review (July/August 2009)
"The 13 stories in the collection are written in highly intimate and often ironic prose, and many involve female protagonists enmeshed in relationships that are at best lackluster and, at worst, oppressive...
While Truth and Other Fictions reads in part as a bitter commentary on the disappointing conditions of women's lives with men, it is saved by the courage and empowerment of Thihanyi's protagonists...
Truth and Other Fictions exemplifies a bold and unflinching willingness to initiate an authentic discussion about women's enduring challenges to define themselves with and outside their personal relationships."