Faking by James KingFaking by James King


byJames King

Paperback | May 17, 1999

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Thomas Wainewright - Regency fop, literary hanger-on, collector of art and artifacts, forger and deported felon - is considered one of the most notorious of English murderers. He is believed to have been one of the first recorded serial killers.

James King takes on this spectral character in his first novel, Faking, and examines a number of serious questions. Was Wainewright a faker? It's historical "fact" that he forged sketches, paintings, letters and banknotes - but, more importantly, did he fake his life? In a complex tapestry of styles and voices, King plays with the assumptions of originality and experience, of academic fashions and biography.

Told through the voice of a Toronto housewife, Thomas Wainewright's story is revealed through the voices of its main characters: the overly sensitive Tom, who wishes to address the characterizations of which he perceives himself to be victim (an essay by Wilde, a character in Dickens, a novel by Bulwer-Lytton); Tom's cunning wife, Eliza; his sister-in-law, Helen; and his son, Griffiths.

Wainewright asserts his innocence of the murders (of his uncle, his mother-in-law, and his sister-in-law) but lays claim to the more fashionable - if not prestigious - guilt of forging a number of canvases, including the Gainsborough reproduced on the cover of the Simon & Pierre edition of Faking.

With a deft hand, James King weaves together the language of the Regency with the language of contemporary prose (while knocking the academic conventions) to provide the reader with a novel that is sure to entertain and, at its end, cause a moment of reflection on the nature and importance of authenticity, of leading an authentic life.

The Dundurn Group is pleased to announce the release of James King's first novel, Faking. This is the first of five literary books to be published this season under the revived literary imprint, Simon & Pierre.

James King's most recent book is the bestselling biography of Margaret Laurence. He has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and a Killam Research Fellowship. He is the author of a biography of Herbert Read, The Last Modern: A Life of Herbert Read (1991), which was nominated for the Governor General's Li...
Title:FakingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:214 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.3 inPublished:May 17, 1999Publisher:DundurnLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889242852

ISBN - 13:9780889242852

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From Our Editors

In his first novel, James King takes on Thomas Wainewright, forger, art collector, felon and a notorious English murderer. He is perhaps the first serial killer ever recorded. King examines a number of questions surrounding his life, including one asking if Wainewright was a "faker." He forged bank notes, sketches, paintings and letters, but was his entire life a forgery? Told through a Toronto housewife, Faking has an interesting cast of characters, including the sensitive Tom, his cunning wife, his sister-in-law and son.

Editorial Reviews

"In his first novel, the critically acclaimed James King takes on this spectral character and weaves together a haunting story that examines the assumptions of authenticity and experience."

- University of Toronto Press