Murmur (CB Editions, 2018; Bellevue Literary Press US, 2019)
Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2018
Shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2017
Book of the Year in: the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, New Scientist, Australian Review of Books, Review 31
Taking its cue from the arrest and legally enforced chemical castration of the mathematician Alan Turing, Murmur is the account of a man who responds to intolerable physical and mental stress with love, honour and a rigorous, unsentimental curiosity about the ways in which we perceive ourselves and the world.
“Murmur is a novel of multiple ideas, which seems right given its main protagonist, Alec Pryor, is loosely based on the predicament of the philosophical mathematician Alan Turing. It is also a novel forged from an immensely beautiful writing intelligence. Murmur is a fully achieved literary experiment, digging deep into all the dimensions of human consciousness, including state sanctioned savagery.”
– Deborah Levy, Goldsmiths Prize Judge
The Inevitable Gift Shop (CB Editions, 2016)
Shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2016
Poetry Book Society Special Commendation
Subtitled ‘A memoir by other means’, The Inevitable Gift Shop lassoes consciousness, memory, desire, literature, illness, flora and fauna, problems with tortoises and cable ties, and brings them back home in double file, as prose and poetry. ‘This is now, or as good as. / We should welcome it. / There should be hats.’
“It takes itself apart and puts itself back together again as it goes along like a literary Transformer, morphing from prose to poetry, literary criticism to history, every new shape a brilliant incarnation.”
– Ian Duhig
The Absent Therapist (CB Editions, 2014)
Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2014
Book of the Year in the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement and Australian Book Review
The Absent Therapist is a book of soundings, a jostle of voices that variously argue, remember, explain, justify, speculate and meander . . . Sons and lovers, wanderers, wonderers, stayers, leavers, readers and believers: ‘The biggest surprise of all is frequently that things and people really are as they seem.’
“The whole book is like someone deeply charismatic and charming daring you not to find them insane. It’s wonderful.”
– Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
This Is Paradise (Picador, 2012)
The Alldens live in 1970s suburban Bath.
Don and Emily have four children: confident Liz, satirical Clive, shy Lotte, and Benjamin, the late arrival. Together they take the usual knocks, go to school, go to work, go to pieces. Don and Emily stick it out, their marriage tested by long experience and frustrated by love for Clive, the ardent boxing fan at odds with the world.
Years later, Emily falls ill and her four children come home to say goodbye, their different needs and appetites revived and sharpened by the spectacle of her decline.
“Eaves succeeds triumphantly.”
– Penelope Lively, Guardian
Sound Houses (Carcanet, 2011)
Common experience – of growing up, growing older, losing a parent, being in love, enjoying the natural world in all its nearness and remoteness – provides the raw material for this first book of poems.
“Poetry is a pleaching of language into its most original, convincing and economic shape. Will Eaves has such technical magic at every moment in this collection. Whether semi-concealed narrative, allegorical landscape or literary annotation, each poem in Sound Houses is a pleasure and a satisfaction to encounter.”
– Peter Porter
Nothing To be Afraid Of (Picador, 2005)
Shortlisted for the Encore Prize 2007
Book of the Year in the Evening Standard
An earthquake strikes at the heart of modern London, its epicentre a theatre where a lavish production of The Tempest has just opened. As the shockwaves fade, the curtain also rises on an offstage romance . . . .
“A tragicomic tale of secrets, a drowned daughter, infidelity and mistaken identity . . . it is so clever, so apt, so right that you have no option but to read the novel with its built-in encore all over again. It seems even better the second time around.”
– Mark Sanderson, Sunday Telegraph
The Oversight (Picador, 2001)
Shortlisted for the Whitbread (Costa) First Novel Award 2001
Book of the Year in the Sunday Times and the Evening Standard
In 1983, a teenager called Daniel Rathbone fell in love, spurned a friend, and stumbled on the ability to see in the dark. On his twenty-fifth birthday, Daniel is bequeathed a second no less unusual gift . . .
“An insightful exploration of memory, death and parenthood . . . a consistently fine use of language and an acute sensitivity to how the emotional contours of a family flex and are disrupted by events. Eaves has written that most honest of books: a coming-of-age novel the central perception of which is that one never really does.”