As lie is to grin Available in paperback october 10, 2017

Catapult  |  indiebound |  amazon  |  Barnes and noble


Acclaim for As Lie is to Grin

Simeon Marsalis's As Lie Is to Grin is not a satire meant to teach us lessons, nor a statement of hope or despair, but something more visionary—a portrait of a young man's unraveling, a depiction of how race shapes and deforms us, a coming-of-age story that is also a confrontation with American history and amnesia. The book achieves more in its brief span than most books do at three times the length.

Zachary Lazar
author of I Pity the Poor Immigrant

Marsalis’s slim, ambitious debut tackles loss and racial identity...Marsalis incisively comments on a wide range of ideas, from authenticity to architecture.

Publishers Weekly


A sophisticated and complex work, this debut reconsiders the coming-of-age story for the twenty-first century.

Foreword reviews

As Lie Is to Grin courageously works through the fraught legacy of race and 'the color line,' often transgressed with deep psychological consequences. In this haunting tale of one young man's search for himself, Simeon Marsalis shuffles and refigures time so that our troubled history no longer hides in plain sight. This is superb writing that feels ceremonious in its wisdom and inexhaustible in its offerings.

Major Jackson
author of Roll Deep

In his debut novel, Simeon Marsalis crafts a trippy and transgressive tale that bends the recognizable world in startling ways to broaden our understanding of what it means to be young, gifted, and black in America today. 

Jeffery Renard Allen,
author of
Song of the Shank and
Rails Under My Back