Truth Be Told: New & Collected Premortems

A forthcoming collection of new and selected epigrams.

In Truth Be Told: New & Collected Premortems, Thomas Farber extends a career-long narrative impulse to cheerfully merciless conclusions. Reverberating with deceptive economy and relentless wit, his subversive brevities evoke French epigrammists, Zen koans, and the pithy wisdoms of Country music. Unflinching, these beyond-short stories insist on the saving grace of language, the consolations of (gallows) humor. Included here as well are the author's three essays appraising the qualities of his ten-year love affair with these retorts, repercussions & wrys.

Advance Praise

Tom Farber's Truth Be Told offers the sort of wicked pleasures to be found in Gustave Flaubert's A Dictionary of Platitudes; here the great fun is (un)leavened by some equally engaging, astute critical prose on the subject of the text: epigrams. The end.

--Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of An Almost Perfect Moment

"With pungent wit and cynical insight worthy of Diogenes, Farber's epigrams cast a cold eye on contemporary manners, morals and mortality. His gimlet observations spare no one, least of all their author. A painfully accomplished performance."

--Stephen Kessler, author of After Modigliani

Tom Farber's Truth be Told does more than compact the world into the essence perceived by its idiosyncratic compositor. It also hints at an expansive hidden narrative of sex, death, joy and despair. In short, as the author presumably prefers all things, it may be an epigramasterpiece."

Melvin Jules Bukiet, author of A Faker's Dozen

Many of us have night thoughts which amaze us with their acuity, brilliance,charm, and we promise ourselves to write them down in the morning. And then we fall asleep. Thomas Farber has the good sense to keep paper and pen by his bed and to note his epigrams before they are lost. I may ask to borrow pen and paper from him, hoping to preserve something like his comedy, cynicism, melancholy--the evidence of a sharp mind's inwardness.

--Herbert Gold, author of Haiti: Best Nightmare on Earth

Like the bright mirror-image of a necklace inlaid with filaments and gems of well-worn experience, this lovingly and thoughtfully tempered treasury of aphorisms will dazzle and soothe readers who try it on. Thomas Farber is a fine, witty jeweler of memory, thought, insight and dream.

--Al Young, author of The Sound of Dreams Remembered

Thomas Farber sums it up well, the paradox of writing aphorisms, a process that involves attempting to write something very very big in a format that is very very small: "Such an odd form: to strive for compression, verbal surprise, paradox, shock, rueful acknowledgment, or revelation of moral blindness may bring out one's own oddities … Focusing, laser-like, on a single line—erotics of the irreducible; or working on a tiny canvas, like the 1970s artist who painted imaginary postage stamps." Farber crams a lot into his own sayings, which he refers to as epigrams more often than as aphorisms. Many are miniature novellas—-a glimpse of some hinted-at encounter, a one-sided dialogue with characters only known as 'he' or 'she'... His sayings can be found in the books Truth Be Told and The Twoness of Oneness.

--James Geary, All Aphorisms All the Time