Chris Eaton, A Biography is a novel that arises from the idea that we have all been driven, at some point, to Google ourselves. And if you did, what did you find? That there are people out there who seem to have something in common with you? Dates, places, interests? How coincidental are these connections? And what are the factors that define a human life? We are the sum of our stories: Anecdotal constructs. We remember moments in our pasts the way we remember television episodes. In pieces. And we realize that our own memories are no more valid in the construction of our identities than stories we've heard from others. Chris Eaton, A Biography constructs a life by using, as building blocks, the lives of dozens of other people who share nothing more than a name, identities that blur into each other with the idea that, in the end, we all live the same life, deal with the same hopes and fears, experience the same joys and tragedies. Only the specifics are different. From birth to death and everything in between, the narratives we share bring us closer to a truth about what it means to be alive. To be you.
“Chris Eaton: A Biography is a remarkable collection of randomness. I can’t tell what’s true and what’s not but I don’t really care because ultimately it’s an ingenious look at our obsessions with identity framed by a grotesque overload of fascinating information, tenderly lampooning our desire to be experts at everything under the sun. One could say Chris Eaton has managed to invent a kind of super-ego by distilling and compounding all the Chris Eatons that ever lived into an avalanche of hilarious humanness.” —Charles Spearin, musician, Broken Social Scene
“A wondrous Oulipian experiment of a book, Chris Eaton: a Biography is like Tristram Shandyturned inside out and anagrammatized; instead of Uncle Toby, Corporal Trim, and Dr. Slop, we have Chris Eaton, Chris Eaton, and Chris Eaton, not to mention Hornet Cisa, Tina Cerosh, and Tonia Hersc. Overflowing with Eaton’s esoteric histories, Chris Eaton still manages to be slyly cohesive and profound.” —Gabriel Blackwell, author of Shadow Man: A Biography of Lewis Miles Archer
“Chris Eaton reaches for the impossible in his writing, creating characters and situations that could never be—and yet you find yourself believing in these texts as deeply as if these were your closest friends. These numerous ‘Chris Eatons’ may or may not exist, but the real Chris Eaton always knows where the story is going. You’ll want to follow him all the way.” —Emily Schultz, author of bestselling The Blondes
“Exciting and experimental writing with intelligence and soul.” —The Toronto Star
“Nabokov could write about his back porch and make it interesting; Chris Eaton does much the same with his fellow Chris Eatons.” —Macleans
“A hurtingly human story, something that suggests both the glorious uniqueness and inescapable connectedness of our lives.” —National Post
“In a publishing world besotted with fabricated memoirs and bogus celebrity autobiographies, Chris Eaton: A Biography breaks new ground in the art of family myth-making. Eaton combines world history, North American folklore, personal memories and postmodern storytelling to create an intricate novel that can stand alongside the work of both Mark Twain and Roberto Bolaño.” —LA Review of Books
“It’s a clever conceit, and a sort of beautiful one, too; here instead of the usual exploration of the semi-autobiographical ego, we get men, women, Canadians, Americans, Brits… their stories and dramas all bleeding together like multiple exposures.” —The Winnipeg Review
“An addictive, often insane and incredibly creative version of the world that could very well be true, but for some reason isn’t quite.” —Matrix Magazine
Chris Eaton is a novelist and songwriter/musician from Sackville, New Brunswick, currently living in Toronto, Ontario. He is the author of two published novels called the inactivist and The Grammar Architect, and a retrospective book of short fiction called Letters to Thomas Pynchon. He has also recorded a half dozen CDs under the name Rock Plaza Central, including the critically acclaimed Are We Not Horses?
April 2013 | Fiction
6×9 inches | 328 pages
ePub ISBN 9781927040676
Book*hug Press wishes to acknowledge the land on which it operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.