Will Boast: Daphne
Join us for a reading with Will Boast, who will read from his debut novel, Daphne. This event is free and open to the public.
Born with a rare (and real) condition in which she suffers degrees of paralysis when faced with intense emotion, Daphne has few close friends and even fewer lovers. Like her mythic namesake, even one touch can freeze her. But when Daphne meets shy, charming Ollie, her well-honed defenses falter, and she’s faced with an impossible choice: cling to her pristine, manicured isolation or risk the recklessness of real intimacy. Set against the vivid backdrop of a San Francisco flush with money and pulsing with protest, Daphne is a gripping and tender modern fable that explores both self-determination and the perpetual fight between love and safety.
“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
Will Boast was born in England and grew up in Ireland and Wisconsin. He’s the author of a story collection, Power Ballads (2011 Iowa Short Fiction Award), and a best-selling memoir, Epilogue (W.W. Norton/Liveright, Granta Books). His fiction, essays, and reporting have appeared online and in print in The New Republic, Granta, Virginia Quarterly Review, Narrative, Glimmer Train, The American Scholar, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications. A graduate of the MFA program at UVa, he’s been a Stegner Fellow at Stanford, a Charles Pick Fellow at the University of East Anglia, and a Literature Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. His debut novel, Daphne, was published by Norton/Liveright and Granta Books in February 2018. He teaches at the University of Chicago and the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center in Rome.
Image Credit: Bill Hayes