DAPHNE NEWS & REVIEWS
“In his stunning first novel, Boast turns the myth of Daphne and Apollo into a modern love story about social anxiety and physical debilitation…Sharply observant, both of the limits of human longing and of the fear of feeling trapped inside one’s body, Boast’s understated tale is at once tragic and enchanting.”
Booklist, Starred Review
"Boast is interested in the ways we handle the unwieldy welter of emotions that defines human existence, how we protect ourselves from the pain of others and fail to express our own.... [O]wing in part to Boast’s effortless, ridiculously vivid prose... the whole novel bristles with connections and symbolism... so artfully tied off that even the most hard-hearted reader will find Boast’s deep awe of 'what it is to feel' catching."
San Francisco Chronicle
Daphne... marries the succinctness of the short story with the reflective undertones of the memoir, creating a profoundly modern fable that is simultaneously tragic and inspiring.
The Times Literary Supplement
‘Thought-provoking… Boast memorably tests how far people will go to seal themselves off from physical and emotional pain’
The Sunday Times (UK)
“Psychology and myth twist into each other in this debut novel about vulnerability and fear. . . . Boast's story is rooted in myth. But it's his perceptive take on the risks of emotion that the reader will remember.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Supple. . . . Boast precisely depicts Daphne’s emotional states, with brief, sensorily rich passages when she is on the brink of overload. . . . The novel offers a striking metaphor for the ways emotion is experienced in the body.”
"A clever consideration of the place of feeling in both public and private life... Illuminates the emotional management we all perform daily — while still following the eternally gratifying arc of the romance novel."
The Financial Times
Epilogue NEws & Reviews
A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Book
A New York Times Bestseller
“Family tragedy leads to almost unbearable darkness but also renewal and hope for a young man in this excellent memoir… Boast writes with unsparing clarity, in precisely observed domestic scenes that reveal mountains of unspoken feeling… [A] finely wrought, wrenching yet lyrical study of a family that lives on past its seeming end.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Click to Listen to My Interview on NPR's the Diane Rehm Show
“[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
Click to see The Guardian's photo feature, excerpt, and Q&A on Epilogue
A San Francisco Chronicle Book of the Year
“[A] lovely literary memoir and moving account of the complexity and necessity of family love…. Boast has a novelist's gift for restraint and character. His scenes are vivid and deeply felt, unsentimental but full of not only his own pain but the pain his parents and brothers felt. In his raw, lyrical memoir, Boast is less concerned with shaping loss and new beginnings into a neatly resolved story than he is with finding the space to hold the contradictions in his life, allowing him to love his father despite all the unanswered questions and begin to see his own way forward.”
Jeanette Zwart, Shelf Awareness
A BBC Book of the Week
“Boast’s Epilogue is a beautiful and finely crafted memoir, one that recalls in its very construction the vortexes and whorls of grief, the ways that memory is a living thing and time marches forward…It is a truly rare feat for a book to both break your heart and make you wish it wouldn’t end: Epilogue does both. Boast has shown us life as it really is: beautiful, strange, cruel, surprising, and rarely so honestly explored.”
Los Angeles Review of Books
“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.”
Elle, 2014 Readers' Prize for Memoir
A Publisher's Weekly Book of the Week
[Boast] 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.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“The book that stayed with me the longest is Will Boast’s memoir EPILOGUE. It’s a finely wrought and unsparing account of the loss of the author’s family… devastatingly sad and yet beautifully written with clarity, precision, and a truly effective structure. The first chapter alone is so powerful that I’ve read it aloud to friends. If you are a reader who can handle this type of grief, then this book is not to be missed.”
Annie Coreno, Publishers Weekly, on her favorite book in 2014
“A heartbreakingly raw, gracefully constructed Bildungsroman.”
Lucy Scholes, The Independent (London)
More Praise for daphne
"Just like that, Boast seems to have captured today’s cultural zeitgeist."
The New York Times
"As Daphne decides how safely she wants to lead her life, she becomes a mythic heroine-guide who comes alive for readers in a modern setting. We all share her condition to a degree. How often do we retreat behind our headphones and devices to cut out the world—and what are we missing? How are we rewiring ourselves? Not only is it a sensationally captivating narrative, Daphne makes us look at our habits and calibrate.
An update [of the Metamorphoses that] interprets Daphne’s transformation as a triumph... Boast’s novel is an amiable exploration of how humans might come to manage their raucous hearts... Boast deserves our gratitude for sending us back to [Ovid] now.
The New Yorker
This engaging debut novel... a modern-day retelling of the Daphne and Apollo myth... appeals not only to the heart but also to the head.
Boast’s real forte is the evocation of emotion, whether that be the ‘gust of affection’ that can hit you in the early days of a new relationship or the ‘trough of sorrow’ we tend to drink from when one has ended... Daphne is sleek and artful, it is also quite touching.
Literary Review (UK)
“Will Boast has written a novel that exquisitely marries ancient mythology and au courant medicine to tell our favorite tale, the love story, with insights both age-old and brand-spanking new. It's a fine, fine ride.”
Antonya Nelson, author of Bound and Funny Once
“Richly meditative and quietly suspenseful, Daphne breathes fresh vigor into timeless questions about love and risk―the unknowable cost of fully opening one’s heart to another. Will Boast writes beautifully about life’s daily moral gambles, and Daphne is an outright marvelous debut.”
Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me
More PRAISE for epilogue
“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
"[B]lew me away and kept me riveted, absolutely locked in its orbit for days…. Will Boast’s memoir, Epilogue, [is] about grief and—in the best, subtlest, utterly un-cloying ways—the possibility of unexpected renewal. There’s a chapter about Boast’s attempt to write a short story about his brother—after his death, giving him life somewhere else—that will stay with me for a long time, a man crafting an alternative narrative to hold what he’s haunted by."
Leslie Jamison, writing in The Millions
“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 this year.”
Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
“Few 24-year-olds have endured the unimaginable losses Will Boast suffered by that age; fewer still have the artistic poise and sheer visceral honesty to redeem that suffering by transforming it into art. As he grapples with a father-son relationship as complex and tortured as that in Knausgaard's My Struggle, Boast faces his raw emotional material ruthlessly, translating his extraordinary experiences to the page with a restrained lyricism and a musician’s ear for rhythm. Boast's story will break your heart; his prose will make it sing.”
Jamie Quatro, author of I Want to Show You More
“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 Seating Arrangements
“A brave, beautiful and soulful meditation on grief, loss, and the power of family. For a story so full of tragedy and heartache, Will Boast’s emotional generosity and unsentimental eye give us reason for hope. This is a tremendously lyrical and moving book that I won’t ever forget.”
Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans
"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
“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
“Sad and lovely, honest and unsentimental, Epilogue is a story of life after loss, of untimely endings and unexpected beginnings. 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. Like the stories in his excellent debut, Power Ballads, Epilogue will stay with you like a favorite song of beautiful and bittersweet heartbreak.”
Lysley Tenorio, author of Monstress
“Epilogue is a 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 jazz performance. Will Boast is a virtuoso, a masterful writer and storyteller.”
Chad Simpson, author of Tell Everyone I Said Hi