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Will Boast

Will Boast is the author of a forthcoming novel, Daphne (Norton/Liveright, 2018), a best-selling memoir, Epilogue (Norton/Liveright, 2014), and a story collection, Power Ballads (University of Iowa, 2011), which won the Iowa Short Fiction Award. His fiction, criticism, and reportage have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, and the American Scholar, among numerous other publications. He’s been a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and a Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. His essay, “Pain,” appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of VQR and was listed as a notable essay in Best American Essays.

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Pain

Winter 2014 | Memoir

My father was never one to complain. On the morning of the day he died, an ulcer he’d suffered from for years, and left untreated, ruptured and began to bleed. Two days later I met with the town coroner. He told me the end had been painless, that, as his life leached away, my father would only have felt increasingly weak and light-​headed. The coroner, trying to make me feel better, was lying.