Eaves, Will 1967–
Eaves, Will 1967–
PERSONAL: Born 1967, in England. Education: Attended King's College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England.
ADDRESSES: Home—London, England. Agent—David Miller, Rogers, Coleridge, and White, 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN, England.
CAREER: Times Literary Supplement, London, England, arts editor.
The Oversight, Picador (London, England), 2001.
Nothing to Be Afraid Of, Picador (London, England), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: British writer Will Eaves began his career with high honors when his first novel, The Oversight, was short-listed for the Whitbread Award for first novels. The coming-of-age story follows Dan Rathbone as he tries to reconstruct his past through a series of letters and photographs he finds in an heirloom writing box that his father leaves to him. The memorabilia are at odds with Dan's own memories, forcing him to delve into family secrets. Readers are given glimpses not only of Dan's own childhood and teen years as he struggles to come to grips with his homosexuality, but back one generation to Dan's parents and their courtship, offering a contrast between both time periods and sexual preferences. James Hopkin, in a review for the New Statesman, found the technique distracting, remarking that "suddenly, there are too many characters, all of the same age, all looking for sex and stability, and Dan's parents are lost in the rush." Hopkin concluded, however, "This fine novel improves, as slowly more and more family secrets are leaked or conceded." A contributor for the Economist stated, "Eaves has a very sharp eye for images, and his prose is carefully wrought without ever being baroque."
In Nothing to Be Afraid Of, Eaves sets his story against the backdrop of the theater world, but his focus is really on the daily lives of the players themselves. The story revolves around two sisters, Alice and Martha, both of whom are actors, and their experiences with Shakespeare and a host of other theatrical productions. Eaves concentrates on the plainer, financially challenged end of the theater world, ignoring more glamorous aspects of the industry. David Jays, reviewing for the Observer Online, called the book "a fantastic pageant of layered identities."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Economist, March 31, 2001, "Winding Up," review of The Oversight, p. 5.
New Statesman, April 2, 2001, James Hopkin, "Novel of the Week," review of The Oversight, p. 55.
Guardian Online, http://books.guardian.co.uk/ (March 20, 2006), Alfred Hickling, review of Nothing to Be Afraid Of.
Observer Online, http://books.guardian.co.uk/ (March 20, 2006), David Jays, review of Nothing to Be Afraid Of.
Scotland on Sunday Online, http://www.scotsman.com/ (March 20, 2006), Andrew Biswell, "Bed Hopping and Time Leaping," review of Nothing to Be Afraid Of.
Telegraph Online, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ (March 20, 2006), Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, "Seismic Tremors, Human Aftershocks," review of Nothing to Be Afraid Of.
Times Online (London, England), http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ (March 20, 2006), Hugo Barnacle, review of Nothing to Be Afraid Of; Tom Gatti, review of Nothing to Be Afraid Of.