Memorial by Bruce Wagner
A Novel

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In his most profound and accomplished book to date, acclaimed author Bruce Wagner breaks from Hollywood culture with a novel of exceptional literary dimension and searing emotional depth.

Joan Herlihy is a semi-successful architect grasping at the illustrious commission that will catapult her to international renown, glossy décor magazines, and the luxe condo designs of Meier, Koolhaas, and Hadid: the incestuous cult of contemporary Starchitects. Unexpectedly, she finds her Venice Beach firm on the short list for a coveted private memorial -- a Napa billionaire's vanity tribute to relatives killed in the Christmas tsunami -- with life-changing consequences. Her brother Chester clings to a failing career as a location scout before suffering an accidental injury resulting from an outrageous prank; the tragicomic repercussions lead him through a maze of addiction, delusion, paranoia -- and ultimately, transcendence.

Virtually abandoned by her family, the indomitable Marjorie Herlihy -- mother, widow, and dreamer -- falls prey to a confidence scheme dizzying in its sadism and complexity. And unbeknownst to Marj and her children, the father who disappeared decades ago is alive and well nearby, recently in the local news for reasons that will prove to be both his redemption and his undoing. Spiraling toward catastrophe, separate lives collide as family members make a valiant attempt to reunite and create an enduring legacy. To rewrite a ruined American dream.

Deeply compassionate and violently irreverent, Memorial is a testament to faith and forgiveness, and a luminous tribute to spirituality in the twenty-first century. With an unflagging eye on a society ruptured by natural and unnatural disaster, and an insatiable love for humanity, Wagner delivers a masterpiece.

About Bruce Wagner

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BRUCE WAGNER is the author of Memorial, The Chrysanthemum Palace (a PEN Faulkner fiction award finalist), Still Holding, I'll Let You Go; I'm Losing You, and Force Majeure. He lives in Los Angeles.
Published September 12, 2006 by Simon & Schuster. 528 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Last and least is Chester, a film-location scout whose life is lost in a fog of pot smoke and bad schemes until he’s accidentally wounded during a staged gag for a Punk’d-style TV show (inspiring another promising civil suit).

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The New York Times

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Wolf Blitzer, talking excitedly on CNN about a plane crash, is a “husky-throated fratboy Peeper.” Charlie Rose looks like a “cross-dresser doing roadshow ‘Guys and Dolls,’ ” with “idiotic gesticulations of faux passion and creepily orchestrated adolescent enthusiasms.” Larry King gets off relativ...

Oct 08 2006 | Read Full Review of Memorial: A Novel

The New York Times

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In his best-known novels, “Force Majeure,” “I’m Losing You” and “Still Holding,” Bruce Wagner has given us some scathing, scabrous portraits of how Hollywood lives today.

Sep 05 2006 | Read Full Review of Memorial: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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[Signature] Reviewed by Kurt Andersen Like Wagner's previous books, Memorial is set in a Los Angeles descended from Nathaniel West's and Joan Didion's but played for laughs as well as existential dread.

Jul 17 2006 | Read Full Review of Memorial: A Novel

New York Magazine

In the end, Wagner tweaks his karmic system (the Hindu and Buddhist themes Wagner has explored in previous books are developed further here) to give everyone what he or she deserves.

Sep 11 2006 | Read Full Review of Memorial: A Novel

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