LitStack Rec: Epilogue: A Memoir & Hounded

Epilogue: A Memoir, by Will Boast

Both a remembrance and a elegiac account of the loss of a family, Boast’s 2014 memoir (a recipient of The Rome Prize) tracks the tragic early death of his mother Nancy, the untimely death of his younger brother Rory, and the family secret left behind after his father Andrew’s death (when Will was twenty-four).

Boast, the author of a story collection, Power Ballads (2011), and a just-released first novel, Daphne, is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, Best New American Voices, and has received numerous literary prizes and honors.

Epilogue tells his family story in straightforward, and at times painfully honest terms. Boast was born in Southampton, England and spent his years growing up in County Limerick, and Fontana, Wisconsin. After arriving in the US, Boast’s British-born parents (who met and married in 1970s Southampton) assimilate quickly into American life. As he recounts the tragic circumstances of his mother’s and his brother deaths, what ultimately drives this gripping memoir is the discovery, after his father’s death, of a first marriage and the wife and two sons he left behind in England. This is the inciting event that drives Will’s aim to connect with them, and as he does, unravels the mystery of his father’s secret life. As with the best memoirs, the story belongs to the narrator, both in the grief and loss Will suffers at losing his family of origin, and his discovery of the family that remains.

Learn more about Will Boast here.

—Lauren Alwan

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