Truth and Other Fictions


stories by Eva Tihanyi

Print: 978-0-9808822-6-1 – $22.95
ePUB: 978-1-9267084-0-9 – $9.99
PDF: 978-1-77133-027-5 – $9.99

150 Pages
April 01, 2009

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In the thirteen stories that comprise Truth and Other Fictions, women take centre stage as they experience the slippery relationship between art and truth, not merely as an aesthetic concept but a reality in their lives. Art here is present in many forms and brought closely into the personal realm of the people involved with it: the paintings of Picasso, the photographs of Brassaï, the songs of Billie Holiday, the emotional impact of opera, the literature of Hemingway and Durrell, the intellect of Sontag. This is a book of engagement, emotional and intellectual at the same time-just as art should be.

“Eva Tihanyi’s stories are exquisite paintings rendered in words-layered, textured, evocative-suggesting what is and the ghost-like presence of what was, and what might be. Truth and Other Fictions seduces with concision and a delicious tension between object/subject, interior/exterior worlds, and the possibilities and impossibilities of truth.”
Anna Camilleri, author of I Am a Red Dress: Incantations on a Grandmother, a Mother and a Daughter

“Tihanyi’s “work is concise and compressed, lucid and complex at the same time. Although the stories are short in length, they are deep and rich in references that reward a reader in much the same way that poetry does: there’s more here than meets the eye.…”
Isabel Huggan, author of The Elizabeth Stories, You Never Know and Belonging: Home Away from Home

“Eva Tihanyi’s stories embrace the paradox: ‘Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.’ From stories of heart-breaking cracks in relationship, to fresh takes on such women as Billie Holiday and Mary Leakey, this is graceful writing that tells a truth only fiction can tell.”
Kim Echlin, author of The Disappeared

“Eva Tihanyi is a writer finely attuned to aesthetics, both in style and content. In her first collection of stories, Truth and Other Fictions, life itself moves towards art. Tihanyi involves us in that process expressed as luminous moments of mainly contemporary female existence. Her women explore relationships and the sensual world, whether through painting, photography, music or personal makeover. Smoothly symbolic and often ironic, the deceptively random events in these brief narratives often make connections that transform the ordinary with lyrical insight.”
Patricia Keeney, author of seven books of poetry, including her Selected Poems, and the novel, The Incredible Shrinking Wife

“Lives become art as poetry weds prose in this evocative collection. With memoir-like intimacy, Tihanyi drops us into moments of truth and longing for the celebrated-Picasso, Leakey, Holiday, Brassaï-and the unknown. A muggy night ‘as buttery as avocado,’ a man as ‘a crow, his dark feathers coy and menacing,’ a ‘scorched voice bare and absolute as bone:’ Tihanyi reveals through telling details and surprising images. Truth and Other Fictions is a lyrical gift.”
Tricia Dower, author of Silent Girl

Eva Tihanyi was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1956 and came to Canada when she was six. She teaches at Niagara College in Welland, Ontario, where she has lived since 1989. Tihanyi has published five poetry collections, the most recent of which is Wresting the Grace of the World (2005). Truth and Other Fictions is her first collection of stories. She is the literary editor of In Retro magazine, and for many years was a freelance fiction reviewer for the National Post and Toronto Star. She was also the first novels columnist for Books in Canada from 1995 to 1999. For discussion questions about this book, visit www.evatihanyi.com.

2 reviews for Truth and Other Fictions

  1. InannaWebmaster

    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”

  2. InannaWebmaster

    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.”
    Podcast of book review by Carol Giangrande (MP3)

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