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Paul Stevens is a bookseller in the marginalized world of used books, a lover of Flaubert and Dickens, young, unsure of himself - until he meets Judith and is drawn into her secret world.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Brother Men is the first published collection of private letters of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the phenomenally successful author of adventure, fantasy, and science fiction tales, including the Tarzan series. The correspondence presented here is Burroughs's decades-long exchange with Herbert T. Weston, the maternal great-grandfather of this volume's editor, Matt Cohen. The trove of correspondence Cohen discovered unexpectedly during a visit home includes hundreds of items--letters, photographs, telegrams, postcards, and illustrations--spanning from 1903 to 1945. Since Weston kept carbon copies of his own letters, the material documents a lifelong friendship that had begun in the 1890s, when the two men met in military school. In these letters, Burroughs and Weston discuss their experiences of family, work, war, disease and health, sports, and new technology over a period spanning two world wars, the Great Depression, and widespread political change. Their exchanges provide a window into the personal writings of the legendary creator of Tarzan and reveal Burroughs's ideas about race, nation, and what it meant to be a man in early-twentieth-century America. The Burroughs-Weston letters trace a fascinating personal and business relationship that evolved as the two men and their wives embarked on joint capital ventures, traveled frequently, and navigated the difficult waters of child-rearing, divorce, and aging. Brother Men includes never-before-published images, annotations, and a critical introduction in which Cohen explores the significance of the sustained, emotional male friendship evident in the letters. Rich with insights related to visual culture and media technologies, consumerism, the history of the family, the history of authorship and readership, and the development of the West, these letters make it clear that Tarzan was only one small part of Edgar Rice Burroughs's broad engagement with modern culture.
The Disinherited, first published in 1974, is one of Matt Cohen's four novels that came to be known as the Salem quartet--stories set in the fictional town of Salem in eastern Ontario, somewhere north of Kingston in the rugged farmland and forest of the Canadian Shield. These are the novels that first brought Matt Cohen to national attention. As with his Governor General's Award-winning novel, Elizabeth and After, The Disinherited is a novel of love and the land and their impact on a family dynasty, of the gradual encroachment of the modern-day city and its developers, and of the family's struggle against the threat of disintegration.From the Trade Paperback edition.
A touching and resonant story of a man who returns to the small town of West Gull, Ontario, to mend his family's legacy of alcohol and violence, to reconnect with his young daughter, and to reconcile himself with the spirit of his beautiful mother, killed several years earlier in a tragic accident. Elizabeth and After masterfully wraps us up in the lives of Carl and his family, and the other 683 odd residents of this snowy Canadian hamlet.
Two love stories, one past, one present, mirror each other in this highly acclaimed story of ambition, sex, memory and marriage. Set in small-town Ontario -- vintage Matt Cohen territory -- Elizabeth and After is rich in insights about human foibles and aspirations, and an unforgettable portrait of a place and the people who live there.
With a clear-eyed affection for the wandering souls who populate his stories--as they cling to talismans like a cowboy shirt, a chenille bedspread and a 1953 classic Ford--Matt Cohen causes us to look at them, and the worlds they inhabit, in unexpected ways. In his darkly comic, wholly original manner, he moves and surprises us, makes us laugh, and reveals the many sides of his extraordinary imagination.From the Hardcover edition.
PHILADELPHIA, the 1840s: a corrupt banker disowns his dissolute son, who then reappears as a hardened smuggler in the contraband slave trade. Another son, hidden from his father since birth and condemned as a former felon, falls in with a ferocious street gang led by his elder brother and his revenge-hungry comrade from Cuba. His adopted sister, a beautiful actress, is kidnapped, and her remorseful black captor becomes her savior as his tavern is engulfed in flames. Vendetta, gang violence, racial tensions, and international intrigue collide in an explosive novella based on the events leading up to an infamous 1849 Philadelphia race riot. The Killers takes the reader on a fast-paced journey from the hallowed halls of academia at Yale College to the dismal solitary cells of Eastern State Penitentiary and through southwest Philadelphia's community of free African Americans. Though the book's violence was ignited by the particulars of Philadelphia life and politics, the flames were fanned by nationwide anxieties about race, labor, immigration, and sexuality that emerged in the young republic.Penned by fiery novelist, labor activist, and reformer George Lippard (1822-1854) and first serialized in 1849, The Killers was the work of a wildly popular writer who outsold Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne in his lifetime. Long out of print, the novella now appears in an edition supplemented with a brief biography of the author, an untangling of the book's complex textual history, and excerpts from related contemporaneous publications. Editors Matt Cohen and Edlie L. Wong set the scene of an antebellum Philadelphia rife with racial and class divisions, implicated in the international slave trade, and immersed in Cuban annexation schemes to frame this compact and compelling tale.Serving up in a short form the same heady mix of sensational narrative, local color, and impassioned politics found in Lippard's sprawling The Quaker City, or The Monks of Monks Hall, The Killers is here brought back to lurid life.
Last Seen, Matt Cohen's penultimate novel, was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award and the Trillium Book Award. Last Seen is a darkly comic story of two brothers and a woman who brings them both back to life. Harold, the older brother, is handsome and charming but dying of cancer. Alex is bookish and a scholar in Europe. With Francine, a nurse they both once loved, Alec cares for Harold until he dies. One day, Alec goes into a bar full of Elvis impersonators and there meets Francine--and Harold. Why has Harold come back from the dead? In this fragmentary tale of obsessive grieving, Cohen mixes moments of wry humour with touching pathos. Last Seen demonstrates that it takes more than death to untie the knot between two brothers.
The Sweet Second Summer of Kitty Malone, first published in 1979, is one of Matt Cohen's four novels that came to be known as the Salem quartet--stories set in the fictional town of Salem in eastern Ontario, somewhere north of Kingston in the rugged farmland and forest of the Canadian Shield. These are the novels that first brought Matt Cohen to national attention. The Sweet Second Summer of Kitty Malone, a story about the pleasure of love that comes late in life, centres on the lives of two time-worn characters whose pursuit of happiness is strangely rewarded. With The Disinherited, another of the Salem novels, this is considered among the author's best works.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Matt Cohen left us all a gift when he decided, in the last six months of his life, to write a memoir. Typing is an invaluable and touching reckoning of the writing life, funny in many places, brilliant in others. It's also the story of the flourishing of writing in Canada: Cohen was at the centre of our country's cultural life for over three decades. He was one of the founders of the Writers' Union; he was the brains behind many initiatives, including the successful lobbying for the public lending right; he was a translator of Quebec writers into English. After his death, it became clear that Cohen was a touchstone for many writers and readers in this country, at the same time as he was a dedicated outsider, a Jewish intellectual moving through a WASPish cultural woods.Typing includes rare and wonderful portraits of George Grant, Hugh Garner, Morley Callaghan and Margaret Laurence, writers who came ahead of him and who posed their own puzzles of recognition and success. Cohen's memoir is rich in recollection, from his early days at Rochdale writing hip, stream-of-consciousness novels to his move to a farm near Kingston, Ontario, where the southern Ontario landscape captured his imagination and inspired such novels as The Disinherited, The Sweet Second Summer of Kitty Malone and, years later, Elizabeth and After. Through the ebbs and flows of literary fashion and worldly acclaim, Cohen stayed constant to the demands of fiction.This memoir ends in the present tense. Cohen had a novel he wanted to finish, and he was certain he wouldn't die before he was done. He wasn't so lucky, but we, at least, have these last pages in which Matt Cohen's voice is utterly alive.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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