Gabriel's Lament

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Author Paul Bailey
Original title Gabriel's Lament
Published Penguin Books, 1986
Media type Print
Pages 336
Awards Man Booker Nominee for shortlist 1986
ISBN 1857025881

Gabriel's Lament by Paul Bailey is a novel written in prose style focusing on familial relationships in flux.


Narrated by Gabriel Harvey, this novel is about the boy whose life is fine. And then his father gets rich (inheriting a lot of money), becoming a snob. At the same time, his mother (who happens to be 35 years his father's junior), just disappears. Gabriel doesn't for a moment imagine that his mother's leaving is anything more than temporary, but as we turn the pages of the book we see that he starts to realize that indeed it is. In the book we see how Gabriel gradually comes to terms with her disappearance being a complete separation.


  • Number 181 on the Man Booker Shortlist for 2014.[1]
  • Booker Prize for Fiction, Shortlist for 1986[2]


According to an article written by Jasper Rees, "mined some of [Bailey's] early experiences." He added, "You don't need to be Sigmund Freud to work out that Gabriel's Lament...find[s] Bailey still working through a sense of bereavement."[3]


  1. ^ "Man Booker Shortlist". Good Reads. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Writers: Paul Bailey". British Council Literature. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Rees, Jasper. "A writer's life: Paul Bailey". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 June 2014.