In TRUTH BE TOLD: New & Collected Premortems, Thomas Farber
extends a career-long narrative impulse to cheerfully merciless
conclusions. Reverberating with deceptive economy and relentless
wit, his subversive brevities evoke French epigrammists, Zen koans,
and the pithy wisdoms of Country music. Unflinching, these beyond-short
stories insist on the saving grace of language, the consolations
of (gallows) humor. Included here as well are the author's three
essays appraising the qualities of his ten-year love affair with
these retorts, repercussions & wrys.
Recipient of Guggenheim, National Endowment, Rockefeller, Fulbright,
and Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor fellowships, author of many works
of fiction and creative nonfiction, Thomas Farber is Senior Lecturer
in English at the University of California, Berkeley. Visit thomasfarber.org
With pungent wit and cynical insight worthy of Diogenes, Farber's
epigrams cast a cold eye on contemporary manners, morals and mortality.
His gimlet observations spare no one, least of all their author.
A painfully accomplished performance."
Stephen Kessler, author of After Modigliani
Tom Farber's TRUTH BE TOLD offers the sort of wicked pleasures to
be found in Gustave Flaubert's A Dictionary of Platitudes; here
the great fun is (un)leavened by some equally engaging, astute critical
prose on the subject of the text: epigrams. The end.
Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of An Almost
Tom Farber's TRUTH BE TOLD does more than compact the world into
the essence perceived by its idiosyncratic compositor. It also hints
at an expansive hidden narrative of sex, death, joy and despair.
In short, as the author presumably prefers all things, it may be
Melvin Jules Bukiet, author of A Faker's
Many of us have night thoughts which amaze us with their acuity,
brilliance, charm, and we promise ourselves to write them down in
the morning. And then we fall asleep. Thomas Farber has the good
sense to keep paper and pen by his bed and to note his epigrams
before they are lost. I may ask to borrow pen and paper from him,
hoping to preserve something like his comedy, cynicism, melancholy--the
evidence of a sharp mind's inwardness.
Herbert Gold, author of Daughter Mine
Like the bright mirror-image of a necklace inlaid with filaments
and gems of well-worn experience, this lovingly and thoughtfully
tempered treasury of aphorisms will dazzle and soothe readers who
try it on. Thomas Farber is a fine, witty jeweler of memory, thought,
insight and dream.
Al Young, author of The Sound of Dreams
About Thomas Farber's earlier work:
His prose is as spare and specifying as black-and white photography.
The chapters...read like epigrams--witty, paradoxical riffs...so
compressed, the sides of the page appear to bulge outward.
Lifts the spirit with its profound understanding...Each chapter
is...almost a parable.
Farber brings a poet's care to the craft of writing, sculpturing
the phonetic beauty of words.
San Francisco Chronicle