Sleights of Hand
The Deception Issue
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Children deceive, as do grownups, and many are the moments when all of us even deceive ourselves. People of every age and stripe, whether rarely or often, dissimulate, bluff, and beguile. The writer who fabricates and populates worlds is a deceiver, as is the artist whose triumph is to trick the eye, to alter perception. The honest magician's livelihood is based on deception; so is the dishonest thief's. And consider the great Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva who wrote, "A deception that elevates us is dearer than a legion of low truths," thus complicating the subject entirely. This special issue of Conjunctions gathers a wide spectrum of essays, fiction, and poetry on the classic subject of deception, exploring in original and thought-provoking ways a world in which truth is a most fragile, elaborate, and mercurial thing. Contributors include Edie Meidav, Terese Svoboda, Yannick Murphy, Paul Hoover, Bim Ramke, Eleni Sikelianos, Magdalena Zyzak, and many others.
Bradford Morrow is the editor of Conjunctions and the recipient of the PEN/Nora Magid Award for excellence in literary editing. The author of six novels, his most recent books include the novel The Diviner’s Tale (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and the fiction collection The Uninnocent (Pegasus Books). He is currently at work on a collaboration with virtuoso guitarist Alex Skolnick, A Bestiary. A Bard Center fellow and professor of literature at Bard College, he lives in New York City.