Liar, Dreamer, Thief


By Maria Dong

Read by Hannah Choi

Formats and Prices




This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 10, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A young woman’s carefully constructed fantasy world implodes in this brilliantly conceived novel that blurs distinctions between right and wrong, comedy and tragedy, imagination and reality: "Surreal . . . leaves you with the creeping certainty that there is a different world lurking just under the surface of our own, filled with technicolor lies and terrible truths" (Alix E. Harrow, New York Times bestselling and Hugo‑award winning author).

Katrina Kim may be broke, the black sheep of her family, and slightly unhinged, but she isn’t a stalker. Her obsession with her co-worker, Kurt, is just one of many coping mechanisms—like her constant shape and number rituals, or the way scenes from her favorite children’s book bleed into her vision whenever she feels anxious or stressed.

But when Katrina finds a cryptic message from Kurt that implies he’s aware of her surveillance, her tenuous hold on a normal life crumbles. Driven by compulsion, she enacts the most powerful ritual she has to reclaim control—a midnight visit to the Cayatoga Bridge—and arrives just in time to witness Kurt’s suicide. Before he jumps, he slams her with a devastating accusation: his death is all her fault.

Horrified, Katrina combs through the clues she’s collected about Kurt over the last three years, but each revelation uncovers a menacing truth: for every moment she was watching him, he was watching her. And the past she thought she’d left behind? It’s been following her more closely than she ever could have imagined.

A gripping page-turner, as well as a sensitive exploration of mental health, Liar, Dreamer, Thief is an intimate portrayal of life in all its complexities—and the dangers inherent in unveiling people’s most closely guarded secrets.

  • "Narrator Hannah Choi brings Katrina’s story to life with outstanding characterizations and superb pacing. The intimacy of the first-person narration further draws listeners into Katrina’s increasingly unsettled mind . . . This fast-paced, surreal tale will hook listeners from the beginning. A perfect fit for fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train."
    Library Journal
  • "Liar, Dreamer, Thief is a surreal thriller that blurs the line between daydream and nightmare. It leaves you with the creeping certainty that there is a different world lurking just under the surface of our own, filled with technicolor lies and terrible truths."
    Alix E. Harrow, New York Times bestselling and Hugo-award winning author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
  • "Clever, urgent, and deeply compassionate. This novel hooked its claws into me and didn't let go—a brilliant, brutal debut that's also deeply thoughtful in its examination of family, mental health, and diaspora. Absolutely stunning."
    Grace D. Li, New York Times bestselling author of Portrait of a Thief
  • "A gorgeously written, genre-blending take on psychological suspense, Liar, Dreamer, Thief uses the frame of an investigation into a man’s apparent suicide to explore the act of meaning-making itself, as well as the ways neurodivergence and marginality both complicate the process and open it to spectacular new possibilities. This brilliant story is unlike anything I’ve read: provocative and unsettling, but grounded by a warm beating heart. Maria Dong is one of the freshest, most vital new voices in fiction."
    Ashley Winstead, Author of In My Dreams I Hold a Knife
  • "I love Katrina Kim and this trip into her secret world. This book is a unique, stunning ride, with a memorable heroine who stands out like a mushroom-studded enchanted forest in a kitchen. Heartwarming, tragic, funny, suspenseful, and perfectly weird. I couldn’t put this down."
    Emily Austin, Author of Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead
  • "A masterful work of psychological suspense with a hypnotically unreliable narrator who obfuscates as much as she reveals. Shocking, enthralling, and unnerving, Dong's debut gleams like broken glass."
    Ava Reid, Internationally bestselling author of The Wolf and the Woodsman
  • "An achingly human mystery thriller with magic looming around every corner. I'm in awe of Maria Dong's beautifully flawed characters and richly drawn world, and you will be too. A marvelous debut."
    Cadwell Turnbull, Author of No Gods, No Monsters
  • "A scathing critique of the American workplace, a lyrical examination of mental illness, a poignant reflection on the experiences of second-generation Americans, and an engrossing, white-knuckle thriller that's—somehow—infused with magic. Are books even allowed to be so many kinds of awesome? Dong's remarkable debut is destined to become a classic."
    Wendy N. Wagner, Author of The Secret Skin and The Deer Kings
  • "A brave and beautiful book that negotiates constantly between reality and imagination, with an utterly unique Asian-American narrator, unlike any I've ever read before."
    Samantha Rajaram, Goldie award-winning author of The Company Daughters
  • "An utterly original, mind-bending mashup that’s equal parts enchanting and suspenseful . . . Dong skillfully and elegantly draws you into her character’s topsy-turvy world and holds you captive at its stunning precipice. A rich, symbolic tapestry of imagination, synchronicity, and the compulsion to see one’s hidden truth, Liar, Dreamer, Thief is fascinating to its core."
    Carolyne Topdjian, Author of The Hitman’s Daughter

On Sale
Jan 10, 2023
Hachette Audio

Maria Dong

About the Author

Maria Dong's fiction, articles, and poetry have been published in over a dozen venues, including Apex, Apparition Literary Magazine, Augur, Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, Fantasy Magazine, Fusion Fragment, Kaleidotrope, Khoreo, and Nightmare, among others. Her short story “In the Beginning of Me, I Was a Bird,” for Lightspeed magazine, was a finalist for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. Currently a computer programmer, she has had a diverse career as a property manager, English teacher, and occupational therapist. She lives with her partner in southwest Michigan, in a centenarian saltbox house that is almost certainly haunted, and loves watching K-Dramas and drinking Bell's beer. She can be reached via Twitter @mariadongwrites or her website,

Learn more about this author