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In The Land of Liars, Cheats & Thieves

A Self-Love Story

After surviving childhood sexual abuse, sex trafficking, numerous sexual assaults, multiple suicide attempts, domestic violence, and a first marriage to a violent ex-cop turned drug dealer, DEA/FBI informant, and federal inmate, Elle de Marié thought the worst was behind her.


That was until a blindsiding betrayal ended her 19-year marriage to her best friend—leaving her alone, unemployable, and homeless. Elle’s pattern was to find another man to take care of her, but the self-objectification, she had learned in childhood and relied upon as an adult, no longer fit the person that was standing alone in that luminal moment.

Determined to forge a different path, Elle managed to find work as a part-time bookseller, saving one thousand dollars to buy a used car she could sleep in, giving her the freedom and protection she needed to heal. Wanting to find meaning in the latest betrayal and find a place to call home, Elle removed herself from others and drove alone across the United States, twice, while diving head on into her legacy of trauma.


No longer influenced by the trappings of the male gaze, and with the profound invisibility that comes with middle age, the solitude, the silence, and the searching gave way to the revelation that the worst betrayal in her life had come from her own volition. 


Rather than devastate her, this awakened a deep self-compassion for all she had endured, a newfound respect for the strength that had seen her through unimaginable trauma, and a soul-centering truth that all the love, trust, and security she had yearned for throughout her life was always within reach—if only she could learn to trust herself.

In the Land of Liars, Cheats & Thieves is a reclaiming of agency, a reckoning on resilience, and a tender-hearted discovery that it is never too late to come of age. 


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Elle de Marié is a PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow, and an alum of Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Community of Writers, and UCLA Writers Studio. She has studied with generous, talented writers including Cheryl Strayed, Janet Fitch, Samantha Dunn, Pam Houston, David Ulin, Bernard Cooper, and her first writing teacher, poet liz gonzalez. 

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This memoir is a work in progress. 

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