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Cover for Epilogue


A Memoir

Will Boast


List Price: 15.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (5/24/2016)
Hardcover (9/15/2014)


Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Buzzfeed, San Francisco Chronicle, and Publishers Weekly

Winner of the Rome Prize (John Guare Writer’s Fund)

“This remarkable memoir is written with extraordinary care, intelligence, and honesty.... In short, it’s fully alive.” —Phillip Lopate

For Will Boast, what looked like the end turned out to be a new beginning. After losing his mother and only brother, twenty-four-year-old Boast finds himself absolutely alone when his father dies of alcoholism. Numbly settling the matters of his father’s estate, Boast stumbles upon documents revealing a closely guarded secret his father had meant to keep: he’d had another family entirely, a wife and two sons.

Setting out to find his half-brothers, Boast struggles to reconcile their family history with his own and to begin a chapter of his life he never imagined. “Riveting, soulful, and courageously told” (Maggie Shipstead), Epilogue is the stunning account of a young man’s journey through grief in search of a new, unexpected love.

Praise For Epilogue: A Memoir

Wise, charming and deeply moving.
— Leslie Jamison - The New York Times Book Review

It is during these unspoken moments that the author deftly captures the fleeting intimacy between father and son…The power of Epilogue comes in Boast’s brave and candid recounting of his losses—and how this accumulated grief reshapes the author and his beliefs of what can make up a family.

— S. Kirk Walsh - San Francisco Chronicle

Boast, an accomplished fiction writer and essayist, has composed a moving, elegantly contrapuntal narrative about coming to terms with his families—the one he lost, and the one that welcomed him with open arms.
— Ben Dickinson - Elle

Excellent. . . . [A] finely wrought, wrenching yet lyrical study of a family
that lives on past its seeming end.
— Publishers Weekly, starred review

This remarkable memoir is written with extraordinary care, intelligence, and honesty. Though the material is powerful to begin with, what makes it work so well is its authorial voice: a rare combination of rawness and restraint, probing and delicacy, self-laceration and tenderness toward others. In short, it's fully alive.
— Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait Inside My Head

Don't let the title of Will Boast’s magnificent memoir fool you—Epilogue is about beginnings as much as endings, discovering as much as losing family. It's honest, heartbreaking, gorgeously written, and hands down the most moving book I've read so far this year.

— Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

A brave, brilliant, masterfully crafted story about an ordinary family's extraordinary collision of tragedies and secrets. Will Boast's efforts to write his family’s epilogue—to forge a space for his own life through understanding theirs—make for one of the most moving and transformative reading experiences I've had. I won't ever forget it.
— Eleanor Henderson, author of Ten Thousand Saints

Riveting, soulful, and courageously told, Will Boast's memoir is a gorgeous meditation on grief and family and also a deeply personal account of his coming of age under a relentless bombardment of tragedies and revelations. Never has a story of loss been so full of life.
— Maggie Shipstead, author of the national bestseller Seating Arrangements

The story of Epilogue would be compelling enough: a young man loses one family and discovers another. In Will Boast's expert hands, it becomes a plangent and penetrating meditation on grief, the weight of secrets, and the redemptive power of family. Clear-eyed, unsentimental, and heartbreaking, this book is a gift to its reader.

— Justin St Germain, author of Son of a Gun: A Memoir

Elegiac and unsentimental, Epilogue is a moving meditation on the enduring mysteries of family, the surprising possibilities of loss, and the deep resilience of an individual. With piercing clarity and wisdom, Will Boast reveals the unexpected within the unthinkable.

— Jennifer duBois, author of Cartwheel

Epilogue is a soulful and profoundly moving portrait of family and loss, of mystery and grief. The story unfolds and builds and doubles back on itself like the notes and riffs in a free jazz performance, and Will Boast is a virtuoso, a masterful writer and storyteller.

— Chad Simpson, author of Tell Everyone I Said Hi

What if you lost your family, only to discover you had another? Will Boast's unforgettable memoir explores this seemingly impossible question in a straightforward yet lyrical language that infuses these pages with both wistfulness and hope.
— Lysley Tenorio, author of Monstress

With a father-son relationship as complex and tortured as that in Knausgaard's My Struggle—and an obsession with music to boot—Boast takes his raw emotional content and faces it ruthlessly, translating his extraordinary experiences to the page with a poet's singular vision and restrained lyricism. Boast's story will break your heart; his prose will make it sing.

— Jamie Quatro, author of I Want to Show You More

[S]pellbinding… [Boast’s] affecting journey, related without sentimentality or self-pity, is not so much about his need for family as it is a candid reflection on loneliness and personal identity.
— Jonathan Fullmer - Booklist

Liveright, 9781631490439, 288pp.

Publication Date: May 18, 2015

About the Author

Will Boast was born in England and grew up in Ireland and Wisconsin. He won the Iowa Short Fiction Award for his story collection, Power Ballads, and the Rome Prize. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, Best New American Voices, and elsewhere. He divides his time between Chicago and Brooklyn, New York.