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May 2021 Biography & Autobiography

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    9780385693738 9780385696517 Downloadable audio file, $29.95 CAD 9780385696524 Downloadable audio file 9780385693721 Electronic book text, Reflowable, , EPUB
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    Distributor: Random House, Inc. Availability: On Sale Date:May 18, 2021 Carton Quantity:12 $29.95 CAD
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Likeness
Fathers, sons, a portrait
By (author): David Macfarlane
9780385693714 Hardcover English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs May 18, 2021
$29.95 CAD
Forthcoming 5.86 x 8.56 x 0.78 in | 0.8 lb 240 pages Doubleday Canada
From the author of the classic The Danger Tree comes a powerful new memoir about a father’s love for his dying son—a heart-wrenching but ultimately life-affirming book about fatherhood and identity, love and grief, memory and healing.

When the worst that can happen, happens, the only useful lesson is the knowledge that it can. That’s the take-away: a world can actually end, time can actually run out, sadness can prevail. But I didn’t know that then, of course. Or, if I knew it, I didn’t really believe it.

In David Macfarlane’s living room, there hangs a life-size portrait of himself. The portrait, by esteemed Canadian painter John Hartman, has become a portal for David: when he stares into his own eyes, and into the painting’s background, an aerial view of his childhood house and hometown of Hamilton, he is transported. The painting evokes vivid memories of what was, what is no more and what will never be. It brings David back to his happy, privileged youth—its depiction of his parents’ old swimming pool surrounded by dazzlingly bright light reminds him of how his future felt during those days, when the world seemed full of possibilities. His son Blake’s future should feel just as bright. He’s young. He’s fit. He isn’t a smoker. And he really, really wants to create, to live. And yet he’s confined to a bed in a bright, white room—as bright as the air surrounding the swimming pool, and yet so different. As Blake undergoes treatment for an aggressive cancer, his father reckons with his past and the future his son may never have.

In achingly beautiful prose, and with profound insight into how we love and grieve and remember, Macfarlane mourns the passing of time as a man in the autumn of his life and as a father who is losing his son. Likeness is a book about fathers and sons that demonstrates the power of memory to transform the tragic into the precious and profound.

Story Locale: Hamilton and Toronto, ON

WISHLIST AUTHOR: David Macfarlane is an exquisite writer—among the most talented Canada has ever produced. Alice Munro has called his prose “about the best…to ever come out of this country, for my money.” David is both inventive and controlled, and stunningly insightful. We at Doubleday Canada have longed for the opportunity to work with David for many years, and we’re honoured and excited to welcome this phenomenal talent to our list.

RICH SUBJECT: This new book marks David’s return to the intimate subjects of family life and legacy—territory he explored to such profound effect in the Canadian classic The Danger Tree. Likeness captures the agonies of love and loss with stinging precision and breathtaking insight, in a way that only the very best memoirs do.

AWARDS CONTENDER: We believe this stunning memoir will be a contender for Canada’s non-fiction prizes. David’s previous work has already won the Canadian Authors’ Association award for non-fiction and the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His skill is indisputable, and on display in Likeness.

DAVID MACFARLANE was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1952. His first book, The Danger Tree, won the Canadian Authors’ Association award for non-fiction. His debut novel, Summer Gone, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and won the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award. He has won numerous National Magazine Awards and a National Newspaper Award. His play, Fishwrap, was produced at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre in 2005, and his most recent novel, The Figures of Beauty, was published in 2013. He lives in Toronto.

Author Residence: Toronto, ON

Author Hometown: Hamilton, ON

Author Website: www.macfarlaneonline.com

Author Social Media: Twitter: @DBMacfarlane

“As soon as you turn the first page into David Macfarlane’s Likeness, you are gone, deep into the nest of his effortless story-telling, as the story moves from a painting to a town to a father to a son, from memory to grief and back again, indelibly mapping as it goes the uncountable but always surprising places and people and histories that make us not just who we are, but that make us each other.  An unforgettable book.” Ian Brown, author of Sixty

Likeness is terrific. It’s about the before and after of losing a son, but the before and after happen simultaneously, that’s the miracle of the book. David Macfarlane has found a new form made of shards and broken pieces, and it’s like music you’ve never heard before.” —Elizabeth Hay, author of All Things Consoled

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