Ebook

Published: Lightning Books (March 2020)

ISBN: 9781785632044

All the Beautiful Liars

Sylvia Petter

£2.99

The fictional memoir of Katrina Klain

How true are the family histories that tell us who we are and where we come from? Who knows how much all the beautiful liars have embargoed or embellished the truth?

During a long flight from Europe to Sydney to bury her mother, Australian expat Katrina Klain reviews the fading narrative of her family and her long quest to understand her true origins. This has already taken her to Vienna, where she met her Uncle Harald who embezzled the Austrian government out of millions, as well as Carl Sokorny, the godson of one of Hitler’s most notorious generals, and then on to Geneva and Madrid. Not only were her family caught up with the Nazis, they also turn out to have been involved with the Stasi in post-war East Germany.

It’s a lot to come to terms with, but there are more revelations in store. After the funeral, she finds letters that reveal a dramatic twist which means her own identity must take a radical shift. Will these discoveries enable her to complete the puzzle of her family’s past?

Inspired by her own life story, Sylvia Petter’s richly imaginative debut novel, set between the new world and the old, is a powerful tale about making peace with the past and finding closure for the future.


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Extracts

A 20-hour voyage to the other side of the world to bury the last remaining member of your family can play havoc with the mind. Sleep dreams are shaken by film snips and time-travelling memory blasts of sometimes wishful thinking... and you might even find yourself becoming a ‘person of interest’ in the Panopticon of a lonesome tabloid hack.

The journey is long and so, in your mind, you write, write, write; you must complete and deliver your story if it is to be read, and if you are to escape from that Panopticon to pursue your quest on landing. For how do you know where you're going if you don't know where you're coming from?

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Extracts

Dear Editor, and, I hope, dear Reader,

A 20-hour voyage to the other side of the world to bury the last remaining member of your family can play havoc with the mind. Sleep dreams are shaken by film snips and time-travelling memory blasts of sometimes wishful thinking... and you might even find yourself becoming a ‘person of interest’ in the Panopticon of a lonesome tabloid hack.

The journey is long and so, in your mind, you write, write, write; you must complete and deliver your story if it is to be read, and if you are to escape from that Panopticon to pursue your quest on landing. For how do you know where you're going if you don't know where you're coming from?


You may also find that the telephone that rings three times has changed from a tolling bell into a new chance, and that your inflight experience has prepared you for facing the reality that will confront you on arrival.

Forgive me if I include you in my adventure; it is, after all, a fictional memoir, where silence recounts ‘true’ stories as fictions, and truths can finally be told.

So if your interest is piqued, do take my hand and enter with me the Panopticon of All the Beautiful Liars, where we shall transform the last chance into a new reality.

Sincerely,
Katrina Klain

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‘Explores truth and memory with a compelling subtlety’

Jason Goodwin

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ABOUT

Sylvia Petter

Sylvia Petter was born in Vienna but grew up in Australia, which makes her Austr(al)ian.

She started writing fiction in 1993 and has published three story collections, The Past Present, Back Burning and Mercury Blobs. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of New South Wales.

After living for 25 years in the Geneva area, where she was a founding member of the Geneva Writers’ Group, she now lives in Vienna once more.

Read more at sylviapetter.com.

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