in conversation with Neal Allen
This Isn't Going to End Well:
The True Story of a Man I Thought I Knew
Free Online Event
Tues., June 6th • 1:00pm PT
“A memoir wrapped in an elegy… [that] maps a strangely stunning life… [Wallace] imbues this chronicle with tremendous compassion — for William, for everyone. This Isn’t Going to End Well gives off the particular radiance of a life lived hard, whatever else: as such, a brand of American bildungsroman. There’s deep satisfaction to its arc, despite its inherent sadness — a wondrous glimpse of the melding, in human doings, of fate, character and serendipity.”―Washington Post
“Daniel Wallace has, once again, shown himself to be an exquisite storyteller. Like bourbon, this book goes down hot and strong but finishes with a salving sweetness which can only be called a blessing. A love story and a ghost story a once, This Isn’t Going to End Well straddles the line between present and past, truth and beauty.”―Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage
A profoundly moving, large-hearted, genre-bending memoir from the bestselling author of Big Fish.
If we’re lucky, we all encounter at least one person whose life elevates and inspires our own. For Daniel Wallace, that was his longtime friend and brother-in-law, William Nealy. Seemingly perfect, impossibly cool, William was James Dean, Clint Eastwood, and MacGyver all rolled into one: an acclaimed outdoorsman, a famous cartoonist, an accomplished author, a master of all he undertook. William was the ideal that Daniel sought to emulate, and the person who gave him the courage to become a writer.
But when William took his own life at age forty eight, Daniel’s heartbreak led him to commit a grievous act of his own, a betrayal that took him down a path into the tortured recesses of William’s past. Eventually a new picture emerged of a man with too many secrets and too much shame to bear.
With his first memoir, acclaimed writer Daniel Wallace delivers a stunning book that is as innovative and emotionally resonant as his novels. Part love story, part true crime, part a desperate search for the self, This Isn’t Going to End Well tells an intimate and moving story of what happens when we realize our heroes are human.
Daniel Wallace is the author of six novels, including Big Fish, which was adapted and released as a movie and a Broadway musical. His novels have been translated into over three-dozen languages. His essays and interviews have been published in The Bitter Southerner, Garden & Gun, Poets & Writers and Our State magazine, where he was, for a short time, the barbecue critic. His short stories have appeared in over fifty magazines and periodicals. He was awarded the Harper Lee Award, given to a nationally recognized Alabama writer who has made a significant lifelong contribution to Alabama letters. He was inducted into the Alabama Literary Hall of Fame in 2022. He is the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Neal Allen is a writer and spiritual coach whose chief interest is removing obstacles of the ego. His book Better Days: Tame Your Inner Critic is due out in December from Namaste Publishing. Shapes of Truth: Discover God Inside You was released in 2021. Neal holds master’s degrees in Political Science from Columbia University and Eastern Classics from St. John’s College. He lives with his wife, the writer Anne Lamott, in Marin County.
Daniel Wallace photo courtesy of Mallory Cash. Neal Allen photo courtesy of Sam Lamott.