All Things Consoled: a daughter’s memoir was a finalist for the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize for Nonfiction. Here’s the jury citation by the three jurors, Camilla Gibb, Roy MacGregor, and Beverley McLachlin:
IN THIS BRILLIANT AND HONEST MEMOIR, Elizabeth Hay traces the final decline of her parents–her father, a proud and ambitious school teacher possessed of a terrifying temper and moods of melancholy, and her mother, who kept the family peace and reconciled herself to life through painting. As she cares for her parents in their final days, Elizabeth–the difficult daughter–describes the truth of who they are and what they did. Tender, witty and brutally honest, the book tears open the cloak of shared secrecy to bare the dynamics of a family–the fears, sibling rivalries, joys, disappointments and grievances that have lain unacknowledged through the decades.