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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Summer 2019

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The Impostor
A True Story
By (author): Javier Cercas
9780525434238 Paperback, Trade English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Criminals & Outlaws Jul 02, 2019
$23.00 CAD
Active 5.2 x 8 x 0.78 in 384 pages Vintage
A book for the age of fake news: a Man Booker International Prize-longlisted investigation into a man who’s been lying his entire life.

For decades, Enric Marco gave hundreds of speeches and interviews about being a Holocaust survivor, a veteran of the Spanish Civil War, and a crusader for justice. But in May 2005, at the height of his renown, Marco was exposed as a fraud: he was never in a Nazi concentration camp. And perhaps the rest of his past was fabricated too, a combination of his delusions of grandeur and his compulsive lying. The story was reported around the world, transforming him from hero to villain in the blink of an eye. In this hypnotic narrative that combines fiction and nonfiction, detective story and war story, biography and autobiography, Javier Cercas sets out to unravel Marco’s enigma. With both profound compassion and lacerating honesty, Cercas takes the reader on a journey not only into one man’s gigantic lie, but also—through its exploration of our infinite capacity for self-deception, our opposing needs for fantasy and reality, our appetite for affection—into the deepest, most flawed parts of our humanity.

Publication History: Knopf HC, August 2018

MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE NOMINEE: The Impostor was longlisted for the 2018 prize.

AUTHOR: Cercas’s breakout novel, Soldiers of Salamis, has sold more than a million copies worldwide, and all of his books have been critically acclaimed. The Anatomy of a Moment was a New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, and The Economist best book of the year and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

PRAISE: The New York Times raves that The Impostor “vibrates with an insomniac energy,” The Wall Street Journal calls it a “luminous book,” and The Times (London) declares it “fascinating, highly charged, scalpel-sharp.” NYT critic Parul Sehgal named it one of the best books of the year.

AWARD-WINNING: The book has already won the European Book Prize (whose jury was headed by film director Oliver Stone) and the English PEN Award.

ILLUSTRATED. The text is interspersed with images and documents from Cercas’s investigation into Marco’s story.

TIMELY: The story of a compulsive liar who may or may not be aware of his untruths, The Impostor is a fascinating excavation of the way we all novelize our lives. It is important reading for the era of “alternative facts.”

JAVIER CERCAS is a novelist and columnist whose books include Soldiers of Salamis, which has sold more than a million copies worldwide; The Speed of Light; The Anatomy of a Moment; Outlaws; and the novellas The Tenant and The Motive. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages and have received numerous international awards. He lives in Barcelona. Translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne.

Author Residence: SPAIN

Author Hometown: SPAIN

Marketing: Advertising:

National Print and Online Advertising

Academic Promotion and Advertising including: MLA and Jewish Studies conferences; Fall Literature Brochure

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Features and interviews

Social Media campaign

“Magnificent…. [A] luminous book.”—The Wall Street Journal

“[The Impostor] vibrates with an insomniac energy. I did, too, while in its throes. There’s no looking away from it; it has the hot, charged energy of sitting through a trial…. The brilliance of The Impostor is how Cercas connects Marco’s desire for reinvention with Spain’s national project of burying its history as it transitioned from dictatorship to democracy.”—Parul Sehgal, The New York Times

“Fascinating, highly charged, scalpel-sharp.”—The Times (London)

“A humane, artistically responsible and civilised book, one that you finish feeling heartened that such a serious-minded writer as Cercas is at work.”—The Sunday Times

“Besides being a piece of nifty journalistic detective work, Cercas’ book is an insightful psychological study…Both convincing and compelling.”—The Spectator

“An awful lot here resonates—not just the buzzy issues of myth-making that dominate much of contemporary politics, but more enduring questions about the nature of truth and storytelling.”—Daily Mail

“Incandescent…Cercas’ book is a subtle essay on the nature of fiction and how it can infiltrate life and upset it…. Fiction has replaced reality in the world we live in, and average characters from the real world don’t interest us. Fabricators do.”—El País

“Acclaimed Spanish novelist Cercas looks deeply at the curious case of a man who wasn’t there…A charged examination of a surpassingly strange matter and of the masks and fictions we construct.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Mesmerizing…Shines a light not only on the methods of the deceiver but the willingness of the deceived to accept such falsehoods.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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