The controlled and calm life of William Oaks is shattered when his parents die suddenly in a car accident. A reclusive paper conservator at a renowned Toronto museum, William must face the obsessions and denials that have formed him: delusional family history, religious fundamentalism, and get-rich-quick schemes. Memory and facts collide, threatening to derail his life and career as William feverishly prepares for an important exhibition on the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
“Eulogy is a powerful and riveting exploration of the family: the tensions between father and son, mother and son, and mother and father through the sharp-eyed, sensitive voice of William Oaks. Masterfully mesmerizing.”—Catherine Graham, author of Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects
“In his debut novel, Ken Murray tells the kind of secrets that simultaneously bind and tear a family apart. With a quick turn of a head or a phrase, the normal becomes freakish, and cruelty mundane. This is a story about diet drinks and religion, death and video games. Eulogy is an obituary to modern innocence.” —Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, author of Down to This and Ghosted
“Too often, first-time novelists show up with baby fat or affectation or slavish devotion to some novelistic ideology. But Murray begins as a mature writer: muscular, plain spoken, himself alone. The story he tells here makes for compulsive reading.”—Benjamin Taylor, author of Naples Declared and The Book of Getting Even
“Absorbing novel . . . A cautious optimist, Murray grants this wounded soul a chance for happiness while acknowledging the work required to clasp it fully.” —Brett Josef Grubisic, The Georgia Straight
“Ken Murray’s powerful, poignant debut… According to convention, a book about grief has no right to be a page-turner, but this one is.” —Jade Colbert, Globe and Mail
“Ken Murray’s solemn and entrancing debut . . . Eulogy is a serious, graceful novel that interrogates the roots of a particular strain of family unhappiness.” —Ryan D. Matthews, Brooklyn Rail
“Well written and very thought provoking . . . The ending truly caught me by surprise and I do love that in a book.” —Patty Woodland, brokenteepee.com
“I enjoyed Eulogy immensely. It’s smart, occasionally funny, and very human. There are so many reasons to read this book: pick one and take the plunge.” —Andrew Fookes, Literary Fiction Review
Ken Murray lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario. He teaches creative writing at Haliburton School of the Arts and at the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto. He is a volunteer broadcaster in community radio and dabbles in several sports. Eulogy is his first novel. For more information visit kenmurray.ca.