Memorial

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Simon & Schuster, 2006 - Fiction - 507 pages
1 Review
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 de cor 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 naturaland unnatural disaster, and an insatiable love for humanity, Wagner delivers a masterpiece.

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MEMORIAL

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

SoCal chronicler extraordinaire (Still Holding, 2003, etc.) goes deep with a portrait of a terminally self-destructive family.After lightening up a bit in his previous novel (The Chrysanthemum Palace ... Read full review

Memorial

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Joan Herlihy is a moderately successful but dissatisfied Los Angeles architect who yearns to join the elite group of celebrity "starchitects" (Gehry, Koolhaas, et al.), and the stupendous Freiberg ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

The author of the novels FORCE Majeure and I'M LOSING YOU and creator of televisions critically acclaimed "Wild Palms." He writes films and has directed four volumes of Carlos Casteneda's "Tensegrity" series. He wrote and directed the film adaptatiion of I'M LOSING YOU, which was released by Lion's Gate Films in 1999. He lives in Los Angeles.

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