Memorial: A Novel


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

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
A Novel
By Bruce Wagner
This Edition: Hardcover
Publication Date: 09/2006
Simon and Schuster

"Not only does one of the main characters make repeated references to the Moleskine she uses, but it is the first really powerful novel I’ve read in a long time. Bruce Wagner is a great favorite of both the in-crowd and literati (his last novel was nominated for all the big awards) because he’s such a damned good writer. But with this new book I have the strong feeling he is about to break out into a much wider audience…"


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