ASU Book Group: 'To Name the Bigger Lie' by Sarah Viren
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The ASU Book Group's February 2024 reading selection is "To Name the Bigger Lie: A Memoir in Two Stories” by Sarah Viren. The book group is open to all in the ASU community and meets monthly from noon–1 p.m. with two different options for attendance: either in-person at the Piper Writers House or virtually on Zoom (registration required for online attendance). In-person attendees are invited to join the author for lunch after at the University Club, no-host.
Haven't read the book? Come anyway! Authors are always present.
Past and present collide in this propulsive, one-of-a-kind meditation on truth and conspiracy, based on Viren’s viral essay of the same name. “This all started after the  election,” Viren begins, “when the main narrative I kept hearing was that only uneducated whites believed the lies that were being told.” At first, she set out to write a book about her charismatic high school philosophy teacher, whose instruction sometimes bordered on conspiracy theory, interviewing teachers and classmates from her past to pick at the ways reasonable people can be manipulated to believe far-flung fictions. Then Viren’s wife received an email accusing her of sexual misconduct at the university where both worked, and Viren tapped into her background as an investigative journalist to untangle the accusations and clear her wife’s name.
Sarah Viren is an assistant professor in the Department of English's creative writing program.
About the book group:
The ASU Book Group meetings and selections for 2023–24 are:
- Sep. 28 - “Lupine” by Jenny Irish
- Oct. 19 - “The Circle That Fits” by Kevin Lichty
- Nov. 16 - "Solving Modern Problems with a Stone-Age Brain" by Douglas Kenrick and David Lundberg-Kenrick
- Dec. - no meeting
- Jan. 25 - “Survival Math” by Mitchell S. Jackson
- Feb. 29 - “To Name the Bigger Lie” by Sarah Viren
- Mar. 28 - “There She Goes Again” by Aviva Dove-Viebahn
- Apr. 25 - "At the Hour Between Dog and Wolf" by Tara Ison
The ASU Book Group is sponsored as a community outreach initiative by the Department of English and organized in partnership with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.