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Simeon Marsalis

As Lie Is to Grin is Simeon Marsalis’s debut novel, which has been longlisted for the 2017 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. In 2013, Marsalis graduated from the University of Vermont, which is the setting for his story of self-discovery, as protagonist David struggles to find his place as a black man in a primarily white school. Author Zachary Lazar (I Pity the Poor Immigrant) praised the book, saying that As Lie Is to Grin is “a portrait of a young man's unraveling, a depiction of how race shapes and deforms us, a coming-of-age story that is also a confrontation with American history and amnesia. The book achieves more in its brief span than most books do at three times the length.”

Center for Fiction 2017 Longlist