A provocative and unsettling look at the nature of love and deceptionIs it possible to love well without lying? At least since Socrates's discourse on love in Plato's Symposium, philosophers have argued that love can lead us to the truth about ourselves and the ones we love. But in the practical experience of erotic love and perhaps especially in marriage we find that love and lies often work hand in hand, and that it may be difficult to sustain long-term romantic love without deception, both of oneself and of others. Drawing on contemporary philosophy, psychoanalysis and cognitive neuroscience, his own personal experience, and such famed and diverse writers on love as Shakespeare, Stendhal, Proust, Adrienne Rich, and Raymond Carver, Clancy Martin himself divorced twice and married three times explores how love, truthfulness, and deception work together in contemporary life and society. He concludes that learning how to love and loving well inevitably requires lying, but also argues that the best love relationships draw us slowly and with difficulty toward honesty and trust. Love and Lies is a relentlessly honest book about the difficulty of love, which is certain to both provoke and entertain.
Clancy Martin is the author of the novel How to Sell (FSG, 2009) as well as many books on philosophy, and has translated works by Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, and other philosophers. A Guggenheim Fellow, he is a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine and also writes for The New York Times, London Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, GQ, The Atlantic, and many other publications. He is a professor of philosophy at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, where he lives with his wife, the writer Amie Barrodale, and three daughters.