Im Telling the Truth, but Im Lying: Essays Audiobook, by Bassey Ikpi Play Audiobook Sample

I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying: Essays Audiobook

Im Telling the Truth, but Im Lying: Essays Audiobook, by Bassey Ikpi Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Bassey Ikpi Publisher: HarperAudio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 4.83 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.63 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: August 2019 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780062894786

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

51:26 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

21 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

15:26 minutes

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Publisher Description

2020 Audie Finalist – Short Stories/Collections

In I’m Telling the Truth, but I’m Lying Bassey Ikpi explores her life—as a Nigerian-American immigrant, a black woman, a slam poet, a mother, a daughter, an artist—through the lens of her mental health and diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety. Her remarkable memoir in essays implodes our preconceptions of the mind and normalcy as Bassey bares her own truths and lies for us all to behold with radical honesty and brutal intimacy.

A Bitch Magazine Most Anticipated Book of 2019 • A Bustle 21 New Memoirs That Will Inspire, Motivate, and Captivate You • A Publishers Weekly Spring Preview Selection • An Electric Lit 48 Books by Women and Nonbinary Authors of Color to Read in 2019 • A Bookish Best Nonfiction of Summer Selection

"We will not think or talk about mental health or normalcy the same after reading this momentous art object moonlighting as a colossal collection of essays.”     —Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy

From her early childhood in Nigeria through her adolescence in Oklahoma, Bassey Ikpi lived with a tumult of emotions, cycling between extreme euphoria and deep depression—sometimes within the course of a single day. By the time she was in her early twenties, Bassey was a spoken word artist and traveling with HBO's Def Poetry Jam, channeling her life into art. But beneath the façade of the confident performer, Bassey's mental health was in a precipitous decline, culminating in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization and a diagnosis of Bipolar II.

In I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying, Bassey Ikpi breaks open our understanding of mental health by giving us intimate access to her own. Exploring shame, confusion, medication, and family in the process, Bassey looks at how mental health impacts every aspect of our lives—how we appear to others, and more importantly to ourselves—and challenges our preconception about what it means to be "normal."  Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are—and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie.

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“This mind-bending collection of essays will change the way you look at mental illness, as Ikpi struggles to explain what it feels like when your brain starts malfunctioning. It will call into question how reliably any of us can trust our own stories, and challenge readers to embrace radical honesty.”

— Good Housekeeping 


  • “Filled with lines, paragraphs, and passages that both intrigue and shock…In essence, the collection paints a personal picture of the normalcy of mental illness…using visceral snapshots of memories from [Ikpi’s] childhood to her adult years.”

    — People
  • “Beautiful prose on what life with mental illness looks like in all its facets through powerful stories.”

    — Essence
  • “Gripping.”

    — Booklist
  • “Affecting memories of growing up…flavor a memoir otherwise focused on a nearly clinical account of mental health struggles.”

    — Publishers Weekly
  • “Bassey Ikpi is a human miracle and I want to scream my joy from the rooftops that we are allowed to experience her journey.”

    — Samantha Irby, author of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life


  • A 2020 Audie Award Finalist for Best Narration in Short Stories & Collections

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