“But we did not feel as if anything we said was a lie. We both believed that the real lie was told by our present unworthy circumstances.”

WolffThe “truth” looms large in Tobias Wolff’s memoir A Boy’s Life. He tells us, for example, how he hijacked the school application process by creating fake transcripts and letters of recommendations when he applied to schools out East. He describes two types of truth – things he knew were true, and things he believed should be true.  He knew that the application was false – but he believed that it would have been true, under other circumstances. His description of his attempts to reconcile his moral dilemmas is one reason the Paris Review says this book is a “benchmark” for the genre.

Tobias Wolff, This Boy’s Life: A Memoir (Grove Press: New York, 1989), 158.

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