The cover of Maggie Ginsberg's debut novel Still True with two houses connected by a telephone wire lined with birds, and moody clouds in the background, and a Luis Alberto Urrea quote on the cover that says "I could stay in this story for years."

still true

By Maggie Ginsberg

Winner of the 2023 WLA Literary Award for Fiction

The Honorable Mention Selection for the 2022 Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award

Silver medal, 2023 Midwest Book Awards in the Literary/Contemporary/Historical Fiction category

Finalist, Chicago Writers Association Book of The Year

Finalist, 2023 WFWA STAR Award for Outstanding Debut

One summer evening, Lib Hanson is confronted by her painful past when Matt Marlow, the forty-year-old son she abandoned as an infant, shows up on her porch. Fiercely independent, Lib has never revealed her son’s existence—or previous marriage—to her husband, Jack. Married nearly three decades but living in separate houses (to the confusion but acceptance of their neighbors), they enjoy an ease and comfort together in small-town Anthem, Wisconsin. But Jack is a stickler for honesty, and Lib’s long-dormant secret threatens to unravel their lives.

“It’s a rare experience to feel gratitude for a book’s pleasures on nearly every page. But Maggie Ginsberg has written that book. I could stay in this story for years.”  –Luis Alberto Urrea, Pulitzer Prize finalist and bestselling author of The House of Broken Angels

Praise for Still True

“It’s a rare experience to feel gratitude for a book’s pleasures on nearly every page. But Maggie Ginsberg has written that book. I could stay in this story for years.”Luis Alberto Urrea, Pulitzer Prize finalist and best-selling author of The Devil’s Highway and The House of Broken Angels

“What we assume about the past is that it is . . . past . . . and will stay past, that we have outlived, outlasted, or even outrun our former selves to become people we are satisfied, if not gratified, to be. Maggie Ginsberg’s deeply felt and vivid new novel Still True underlines that home truth. Even as each of its characters curates a careful present, the shadows of the past creep up to confront them. When those realities collide, the result is troubling, affecting, and deeply true.”—Jacquelyn Mitchard, author The Deep End of the Ocean

Still True feels as intimate as eavesdropping, with characters so well drawn and so believable there is a sense that they are in the room with you as you read about their sometimes turbulent, sometimes mild lives. Ginsberg’s prose is dreamy and rhapsodic and even as her characters make dreadful mistakes, she always treats them with profound decency and empathy. A wonderful, warm book about friendship, secrets, trauma, and love.”—Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs and Little Faith

“A wise and profound exploration of intimacy and privacy, marriage and family. In this story about a web of long-held secrets coming dangerously close to the surface, the novel asks how it might be possible to love someone fiercely but misunderstand them fundamentally. Maggie Ginsberg describes the complexity of human relationships with such honesty and compassion, it’s hard not to recognize your own private truths in these pages. Still True is tender, moving, and so gorgeously written.”—Hanna Halperin, author of Something Wild


“In Still True, Maggie Ginsberg explores not only the physical distances that separate her characters but also the charged emotional spaces between truth and lies, the present and the past, right and wrong. Not since Kent Haruf have I read an author so skilled at capturing the nuance and complexity of small-town life with empathy and respect.”—Christina Clancy, author of Shoulder Season and The Second Home 


“Big secrets, big mistakes, and an endearing collection of big, messy hearts fuel the wonder that is Maggie Ginsberg’s Still True. This engrossing and emotional debut novel somehow manages to capture both the sobering grittiness and magical dreaminess of life, love, and long-told lies unfolding in a small pocket of rural Wisconsin.”Dean Bakopoulos, author of Summerlong 


Still True strikes a perfect balance: full of humane understanding of its characters’ back-burnered shame and secrets, and rigorous honesty about the price. As soon as I dropped into the intimate, inevitably flawed small town of this novel, I wasn’t going anywhere until it was done.”—Michelle Wildgen, author of Wine People


“Absorbing, lyrical, and revelatory! Maggie Ginsberg’s astonishing debut is a deeply satisfying investigation of marriage, motherhood, and addiction. What secrets are justified? And what compromises? What do we keep from each other, and how much of ourselves do we really owe the people who love us? Can we have true intimacy while maintaining our independence? These flawed but captivating characters haven’t left me since I finished reading this knockout of a novel, nor have I stopped asking myself: What would I do if their choices were mine to make? Book clubs, get ready!”—Susan Henderson, author of The Flicker of Old Dreams


“A generous ode to humanity’s indefatigable longing for understanding, forgiveness, and love. Maggie Ginsberg’s words sparkle on pages filled with hopeful characters and a story you won’t soon forget.”Ann Garvin, USA Today best-selling author of I Thought You Said This Would Work


“A rich and unflinching study of the ways in which trauma and secrets can shape a person’s life. The novel weaves together the narratives of a woman who long ago abandoned her young son, her husband with whom she shares a life but protects from her secrets, an alcoholic mother whose choices lead to near-fatal consequences, and the child who connects them all in a charged story of loss, grief, and renewal. This gorgeously written novel examines the darkest aspects of human relationships and offers an emotionally redeeming ending that suggests that we can overcome our worst in order to celebrate our best.”—Chris Cander, author of A Gracious Neighbor


“An intricate, emotional exploration of the blessings and burdens of family bonds, and the ways in which the lies we can’t let go of influence those we love the most. Full of original and multifaceted characters, this heartfelt story will captivate readers and encourage them to consider what it is that we owe our children, our spouses, and ourselves. A provocative and satisfying read that lingers long after the last page is turned.”—Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Two-Family House and The Wartime Sisters


“Ginsberg has crafted a gripping, authentic portrait of small-town life, inhabited by meticulously drawn characters whose lives intersect in unexpected ways. In this memorable debut novel, Ginsberg does for the rural Midwest what Richard Russo did for New England in his Pulitzer Prize–winning Empire Falls. Graceful prose and a well-paced plot will draw readers into this heartrending, realistic tale of the many faces of love and redemption.”—Susan Gloss, best-selling author of Vintage and The Curiosities


“A richly woven, big-hearted tapestry of characters so intensely alive they’ll haunt you long after the last page is turned. Rendered in clear-eyed and heartbreakingly beautiful prose, it’s a story about what makes us human and how we take care of each other, and serves as a testament to the power of love, grace, and family, in all its forms.”Erin Celello, author of Miracle Beach and Learning to Stay


“Reminds me of Robinson’s Gilead for today’s generation. Still True is a surprisingly plotted, deeply character-driven novel about the beautiful hope and struggle to heal what some think impossible. Beautiful writing. Flawed and wise and lovable characters. What a potent debut!”Andrew J. Graff, author of Raft of Stars

Share This