Awaiting a TV talk show appearance, John Townley is quaking with dread. He has published a best-selling memoir about the Iraq War, a page-turner climaxing in atrocity. In a green room beyond the soundstage, he braces himself to confront the charismatic soldier at the violent heart of it. But John has never actually seen the man before-nor served in Iraq, nor the military. Even so, and despite the deception, he knows his fabricated memoir contains stunning truths.
By turns comic, suspenseful, bitingly satirical, and emotionally potent, A Big Enough Lie pits personal mistruths against national ones of life-and-death consequence. Tracking a writer from the wilds of Florida to New York cubicles to Midwestern workshops to the mindscapes of Baghdad-and from love to heartbreak to solitary celebrity-Bennett's novel probes our endlessly frustrated desire to grab hold of something (or somebody) true.
Eric Bennett's writing has appeared in VQR, A Public Space, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other publications. His essays include "The Pyramid Scheme," in MFA vs. NYC (2014), and "Creative Writing and the Cold War University," in A Companion to Creative Writing (2013). He is an associate professor of English at Providence College in Rhode Island, USA.