Keep

Keep

A Novel

Written by: Haysom, Jenny

A timely tale of ownership and loss, loneliness and connection, and a meditation on all the stuff in our lives.

Home staging is an art of erasure. But in some cases––no matter how much clutter you remove, or how many coats of white paint you apply––stains bleed through, and memories rise from the walls like ghosts. Harriet, an elderly poet whose eccentricities have been compounded by years of living alone, must sell her beloved house. Having been recently diagnosed with dementia, she is being moved into a care facility against her wishes. When stagers Eleanor and Jacob are hired for the job, they quickly find themselves immersed in Harriet’s brimming and mysterious world, but as they struggle to help her, their own lives are unravelling.

Keep is a meditation on all the stuff in our lives––from the singular, handcrafted artifact to indelible, mass-produced plastics. As Jenny Haysom excavates the material of our domestic spaces, she centres the people within them and celebrates the power of memory, even when it falters.

A timely tale of ownership and loss, loneliness and connection, and a meditation on all the stuff in our lives.

Home staging is an art of erasure. But in some cases––no matter how much clutter you remove, or how many coats of white paint you apply––stains bleed through, and memories rise from the walls like ghosts. Harriet, an elderly poet whose eccentricities have been compounded by years of living alone, must sell her beloved house. Having been recently diagnosed with dementia, she is being moved into a care facility against her wishes. When stagers Eleanor and Jacob are hired for the job, they quickly find themselves immersed in Harriet’s brimming and mysterious world, but as they struggle to help her, their own lives are unravelling.

Keep is a meditation on all the stuff in our lives––from the singular, handcrafted artifact to indelible, mass-produced plastics. As Jenny Haysom excavates the material of our domestic spaces, she centres the people within them and celebrates the power of memory, even when it falters.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Oct 1, 2024
Specifications 280 pages | 5.25 in x 8 in
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Excerpt
Written By

JENNY HAYSOM has published her writing in magazines across Canada. Her debut poetry collection, Dividing the Wayside, won the Archibald Lampman Award and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Jenny lived in Ottawa for nearly thirty years, on the unceded, ancestral lands of the Algonquin Nation, and has recently returned to Nova Scotia, in Mi’kma’ki, where she grew up.

Written By

JENNY HAYSOM has published her writing in magazines across Canada. Her debut poetry collection, Dividing the Wayside, won the Archibald Lampman Award and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Jenny lived in Ottawa for nearly thirty years, on the unceded, ancestral lands of the Algonquin Nation, and has recently returned to Nova Scotia, in Mi’kma’ki, where she grew up.

Astute and appealing … Keep is a compassionate novel in which three people learn that history and memory are ‘fluent and fallible.’” — Foreword

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"This gentle novel thoughtfully explores how the things we choose to keep can hold us back, and the opportunity for growth that can come from letting go." —Kim van Alkemade, New York Times bestselling author of Counting Lost Stars

” —Kim van Alkemade, New York Times bestselling author of Counting Lost Stars

"Tender, witty, and wise, Jenny Haysom’s Keep brims with insights about the perils and serendipities of change at various stages of life—a wonderful novel." —Claire Messud, author of This Strange Eventful History