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From the author of the Giller Prize-nominated Summer Gone comes a sensuous, heartbreaking novel about art, beauty, and the choices we make that define us for life.
A young man travels to Paris in 1968, where a series of unlikely events take him to a tiny village in Italy-and the one great love of his life. A marble merchant meets a couple on their honeymoon, introducing them to the sensual beauty of the Carrara region. An Italian woman arrives in Canada to find the father she never knew. A terrible accident in a marble quarry changes the course of a young boy's life and, ultimately, sets in motion each of these stories, which Macfarlane masterfully shapes into a magnificent whole.
Oliver Hughson falls in love with wild, bohemian Anna over the course of one glorious summer in Italy. Bound by a sense of responsibility to his adoptive parents back home in Canada, however, he leaves her, an act he will regret for the rest of his life. Narrated by the daughter he never knew he had, The Figures of Beauty is a love story of mythic proportions. Through luck, fate, and great good fortune, Oliver found the one place and the one woman he should never have left. This is the story of him trying to find his way back.
Published by HarperCollins
Emulating the circuitous tales told by his mother's relatives, the Goodyears of Newfoundland, David Macfalane weaves the major events of the island's twentieth century--the ravages of tuberculosis; the great seal-hunt disaster; the bitter Confederation debate, and above all, the First World War--into his own tale of the ill-starred fortunes of his family. He brings to life a multi-generational cast of characters who are as colourful as only Newfoundlanders can be. With humour, insight, and genuine love for those heroes and charlatans, pirates and dreamers, he explores the meaning of family and the consequences of forgotten history.
The admired, bestselling author of The Danger Tree joins Knopf Canada with his masterful first work of fiction: a haunting novel about love experienced and love remembered that is also an unforgettable celebration and evocation of the brief beauty of a northern summer.
Summer Gone is about that moment when everything stops. Like skilled canoeists, we briefly hold a perfect balance - poised between innocence and experience, life and death, discovery and loss, the promise of spring and the sadness of autumn - and we believe, foolishly, that those perfect days will last forever.
Set among the islands and lakes of "cottage country", this major first novel from one of Canada's premier writers explores the stories of three generations of lost summers. But Summer Gone is primarily the story of a divorced father and a young son separated by the silence of estrangement, and how during one extraordinary night on an ill-fated canoe trip the silence is broken. Yet, as the novel unfolds, tragedy looms over father and son in ways they could never have imagined, and leads to the book's gripping and startling conclusion.
Summer Gone is an exquisite novel, beautifully written and powerfully told.
Published by Knopf Canada
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Toronto's story: from pre-European contact to the contemporary city.
By David Macfarlane
Project Coordinator: Nancy Lang
Design: Barb Woolley (Hambly and Woolley Inc.)
Editor: John Macfarlane
In this collection of provocative essays, the subject is Toronto. But not Toronto the static, Toronto the understandable, Toronto the known-commodity. As its title suggests, Toronto: A City Becoming argues that Canada's biggest city is undergoing a major transformation. Whether for good or ill, Toronto is changing before the eyes of its citizens. And it's possible to interpret this change any number of ways. From city to big city? From post-industrial to creative? From nominally multicultural to truly diverse? From functioning metropolis to dysfunctional megalopolis? From placid (if dull) urban centre to exciting (if dangerous) city? From bad to worse? Or from good to better?
The book includes twenty-two essays that will inspire real debate on the key issues facing the city. Contributors such as the acclaimed academic and author, Richard Florida, Toronto's former mayor, David Crombie, urban geographer, Meric Gertler, art critic, Sarah Milroy, political economist, James Milway, architect, John van Nostrand, and bestselling author and journalist Linda McQuaig take a wide variety of compelling and provocative perspectives on Toronto as it enters the 21st century. The book also features visual essays by some of Toronto's pre-eminent photographers, including Michael Awad's unique cityscapes, Scott Johnston's resonating portraits of Regent Park, and David Kaufman's exquisite architectural studies of buildings, storefronts, and landmarks.
Rarely, if ever, has it been possible to witness with such clarity the passage of one kind of urban entity to another. Toronto: A City Becoming reveals the transformation of city at an exciting moment in its history.
Published by Key Porter Books
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The Ojibway is an old place, not as far away from everything as it used to be. It's on an island, just inside the outer shoals of the eastern edge of Georgian Bay. It used to be a long way off, but is not so difficult to get to now: a few hours on a highway, a few minutes in a boat. And there it is.
The weathered shingles, the expansive dock, the stately tower, and the shafts of white pine are familiar enough sights to people who spend their summers in Pointe au Baril, Ontario. But the Ojibway is the kind of place that looks familiar even to people who have never seen it before. The creation of a courtly former railway agent from Rochester, New York, it was built in 1906 and seemed, even in the earliest days, to embody summers past. It's as if the stone stairs and the gracious veranda remind anyone who approaches that time slips away, but that not everything slips away with it. Some things we hold on to. Summers are faster and noisier now than they were when Hamilton C. Davis first set eyes on the forty-two-acre island where he would build his hotel. But some things we manage to preserve.
From At the Ojibway
Distributed by Key Porter Books
In What I Meant to Say, writer and broadcaster Ian Brown has gathered 25 beautifully crafted and thoroughly readable essays by some of Canada's most interesting male voices - pieces of writing that explore, reveal and explain the terrain of manhood, both new and old.
From "Boner and Nothingness" by David Macfarlane:
It is a misconception, common to women and men alike, that an erection necessarily has something to do with sex. It is easy to see how such a fallacy takes hold. One need only spend a short time in a barnyard before the connection is made. But I'm not so sure. Frankly, I'm inclined - so to speak - to a more holistic explanation.
My misgivings first arose.... (Look. The subject is so rife with cheap double-entendres, I think we should ignore them whenever they pop up, don't you?) As I was saying. My doubts on this matter arose in math class in grade six.
Depending on how a man measures these things (you see what I mean?), you might put the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue or the Victoria's Secret catalogue at one end of the sexual excitement graph. And, speaking of graphs, you'd put Miss Peebles' grade six math class at the other.
Sex and Miss Peebles seemed worlds apart - even at a time in my life when I knew less about sex than I did about math. Which is saying something. There are Zen masters who spend years attempting to find the emptiness that I attained when Miss Peebles shut the door behind her and said, "Good morning, class." There was not a thought in my head for the ensuing forty minutes. Certainly, Miss Peebles - her hair rolled into what looked like a bullet-proof bun; her eyes, small and piercing and shielded by rimless spectacles -- was a source of no fascination. Neither sex nor arithmetic crossed my mind while in her presence. And yet, every math class, there I was: a hypotenuse more than equal to the sum of the other two sides.