- Author Bio
Winner of the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Award for Nonfiction
From Elizabeth Hay, one of Canada’s most beloved 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 colourful, formidable pair. Jean, a late-blooming artist with a marvellous sense of humour, was superlatively frugal; nothing got wasted, not even maggoty soup. Gordon was a proud and ambitious schoolteacher with a terrifying temper, a deep streak of melancholy, and a devotion to flowers, cars, words, and his wife. As old age collides with the tragedy of living too long, these once ferociously independent parents become increasingly dependent on Lizzie, the so-called difficult child. By looking after them in their final decline, she hopes to prove that she can be a good daughter after all.
In this courageous memoir, written with tough-minded candour, tenderness, and wit, Elizabeth Hay lays bare the exquisite agony of a family’s dynamics—entrenched favouritism, sibling rivalries, grievances that last for decades, genuine admiration, and enduring love. In the end, she reaches a more complete understanding of the most unforgettable characters she will ever know, the vivid giants in her life who were her parents.
ONE OF CANADA’S MOST BELOVED AUTHORS: With a huge base of devoted readers, Elizabeth Hay is an author fans are eager to read and are passionate about.
AWARDS: Hay’s fiction has received the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Marian Engel Award and has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Trillium Award, and the Ottawa Book Award.
CROSS-OVER APPEAL: Hay’s accessible, intelligent writing attracts readers of literary and commercial fiction as well as fans of memoirs.
BACKLIST: M&S has all of Hay’s fiction in paperback.
Marketing: Social media advertising
Publicity: National media around publication including Zoomer Magazine, Macleans, interviews in daily papers such as Toronto Star, Globe & Mail and interviews with radio such as Classical 96.3FM, CBC radio
Local media push in Ottawa
Event with Ottawa Writers Festival at publication
Tour to Toronto for event and media
Additional Ontario events outside of Toronto
Possible festival events in Vancouver, Calgary, etc.
Author Website: elizabethhay.com
Praise for Elizabeth Hay and His Whole Life:
“Hay creates enormous spaces with few words, and makes the reader party to the journey, listening, marvelling…” —Globe and Mail
“A master storyteller…” —Winnipeg Free Press“
[She has an] evocative grace that brings to mind Annie Proulx.”—Washington Post
“Hay has a delightful, deadpan wit, the kind that sneaks up on you.”—New York Times
“How lucky we are to have her, this writer who stares down the tough issues in life…with such wit and grace.” —Toronto Star