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The Eulogy

Jackie Bailey



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Hardie Grant Books
06 June 2022
The Eulogy is a literary page-turner from new Australian voice Jackie Bailey - a story about family, death and grief that is full of love, humour and life.

It's winter in Logan, south-east Queensland, and still warm enough to sleep in a car at night if you have nowhere else to go. But Kathy can't sleep. Her husband is on her blocked caller list and she's running from a kidnapping charge, a Tupperware container of 300 sleeping pills in her glovebox. She has driven from Sydney to plan a funeral with her five surviving siblings (most of whom she hardly speaks to) because their sister Annie is finally, blessedly, inconceivably dead from the brain tumour she was diagnosed with twenty-five years ago, the year everything changed.

Kathy wonders - she has always wondered - did Annie get sick to protect her? And if so, from what?

In writing Annie's eulogy, Kathy attempts to understand the tangled story of the Bradley family: from their mother's childhood during the Japanese occupation of Singapore in World War Two and their father's experiences in the Malayan conflict and the Vietnam War, to Annie's cancer and disability, and the events that have shaped the person that Kathy is today. Ultimately, Kathy needs Annie to help her decide whether she will allow herself to love and be loved.

Jackie Bailey's autofiction novel is an astounding debut, deftly weaving together storylines and relationships over decades, and will stay with readers long after the last page.

'What a book! Brutal and funny and full of love.' - Alice Pung

'A propulsive, powerful, important debut.' - Sarah Krasnostein
Imprint:   Hardie Grant Books
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 135mm, 
ISBN:   9781743798324
ISBN 10:   1743798326
Pages:   280
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Jackie Bailey is a professional writer and researcher and a recognised international expert on cultural diversity in the arts. She runs BYP Group, often appears on arts industry panels and conferences, is a regular contributor to ArtsHub, has a Creative Writing PhD from UNSW and is on the Board of Merrigong Theatre Company. Her work has been published widely, including in the Roots anthology from the 2020 SBS Emerging Writers' Competition. Jackie is also an ordained interfaith minister, trained deathwalker and practising funeral director.

Reviews for The Eulogy

'With searing honesty and gentle humour, Jackie Bailey nails the complexity of familial love and the effects of intergenerational trauma. Jackie has bled her soul into these pages, and we are wiser and more enlightened for it. A remarkable, life-affirming meditation on grace and forgiveness.' - Alice Pung 'Trust Bailey to lead you through the combustible emotional landscape she has drawn so finely, and so wisely. A propulsive, powerful, important debut.' - Sarah Krasnostein 'Jackie Bailey has made a beautiful big-hearted book, alight with wonder and rich with wisdom. The prose hums with vitality, tenderness, often a cheeky lightness of touch, and confronting, moving revelations about the human condition. This book broke my heart and then mended it again as I laughed, cried and exhaled with relief at every turn of the page.' - Roanna Gonsalves 'Jackie Bailey's work is masterclass on death, loss, grief and love. In The Eulogy she deftly unpicks and unpacks one sprawling family and asks: how should we live? Required reading for those who will one day die or know someone who will.' - Hayley Scrivenor '...a propulsive story of race, loss and love.' - Steph Harmon, The Guardian 'a story that will stay with the reader long after the end' - Fay Helfenbaum, Books+Publishing

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