- 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.
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
Winner, Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
Longlisted for the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize
A Globe and Mail Top 100 book
A Chatelaine Best Book of 2018
"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
“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