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.
“A gifted and admired writer across genres…Macfarlane’s works have always focused on memory and family. That long-standing theme is understandably far more sorrowful in Likeness. Born out of the fatal illness of Macfarlane’s 29-year-old son, Blake, in 2018, it conveys grief in heartbreaking, often quietly stunning, prose…. There is an ache in Likeness that cuts as deeply as it does because of the beauty of its expression.” —Maclean’s
“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