All Things Consoled (Hardback)
  • All Things Consoled (Hardback)
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All Things Consoled (Hardback)

(author)
£16.99
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 22/08/2019
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Winner of the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Award for Non-fiction

A poignant, complex and hugely resonant memoir about the shift from being a daughter to a guardian and caregiver, by a prizewinning author.

From Elizabeth Hay, one of Canada's most celebrated novelists, comes a startling and beautiful memoir about the drama of her parents' end, and the longer drama of being their daughter.

Jean and Gordon Hay were a formidable pair. She was an artist and superlatively frugal; he was a proud and principled schoolteacher with an explosive temper. Elizabeth, the so-called difficult child, always suspected she would end up caring for them in their final years, in part to atone for her childhood sins.

Philip Roth once said, "Old age is a massacre". All Things Consoled takes you inside the massacre as Hay's ferociously independent parents become increasingly dependent on her.

With remarkable wit and honesty, Hay lays bare the agony of a family coping as old age turns into the tragedy of living too long. In the end she arrives at a more nuanced understanding of her mother and father, and of herself as their daughter. They were and remain the two vivid giants in her life.

Publisher: Quercus Publishing
ISBN: 9780857059116
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 360 g
Dimensions: 218 x 136 x 26 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
It's sublime. Elizabeth Hay is such a masterful writer, I'm joyously in awe. She writes with such grace. There's not a word, image or emotion out of place. I felt as if I was reading the act of healing itself. -- Sarah Winman
A moving, poignant, honest and beautifully written memoir. -- Brian Maye * Irish Times *
Compelling . . . Hay's accounts of her parents' last days are luminous and moving. -- Alice Jolly * Times Literary Supplement. *
As a novel, this book would have been heartbreaking. But, being a memoir, it is 10 times more powerful. Those of us who have lived through similar experiences with ageing, ailing parents can discern the truth to Hay's book. * Artsfile *
Hay has written about it all, with care and candour, in a remarkable memoir * Maclean's *
This book is likely to break your heart, and it will definitely make you think about your own family in the context of ageing. * Quill and Quire. *
Elizabeth Hay is a marvel. She honours her parents in this portrait of their final years. As steadfast a daughter as she is a writer, Hay writes with sometimes scalding authenticity about aging and the challenges that come with the end of a life, but she is never less than tender. I loved this moving memoir -- Michael Redhill, author of Bellevue Square
Piercingly candid and exquisitely written, Elizabeth Hay's memoir describes the intensity of the love, uncertainty and exasperation triggered by her parents' dying. Yet there is humour here, too, even - especially - after the final goodbyes -- Charlotte Gray, author of The Promise of Canada
In All Things Consoled, Hay chronicles with breath-taking honesty the ravages of age and decline. She also shows how love, beauty and the sustenance of writing are a kind of balm for this reality of the human experience * C.B.C. Books *
Poignant, poetic and sharply observed * Winnipeg Free Press *

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