Many readers still claim this haunting, atmospheric novel of Michael Ondaatje's as their first love - a novel as sensual and erotic today as ever it was. At the turn of the century, the Storyville district of New Orleans had some 2000 prostitutes, 70 professional gamblers, and 30 piano players. But it had only one man who played the cornet like Buddy Bolden - he who cut hair by day at N. Joseph's Shaving Parlor, and at night played jazz, unleashing an unforgettable wildness and passion in crowded rooms. Self-destructively in love with two women, he embodied all the dire claims that music places on its acolytes. At the age of 31, Buddy Bolden went mad. From these sparse facts, Michael Ondaatje has created a story as beautiful and chilling as a New Orleans funeral procession, where even the mourners dance.
Michael Ondaatje was born in Sri Lanka, and came to Canada in 1962. He is the author of The English Patient, In the Skin of a Lion, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, and the memoir Running in the Family. His most recent book is the anthology of Canadian stories, From Ink Lake. He lives in Toronto.
"Anybody who cares about good writing ... should get this book and luxuriate in it." — Minneapolis Tribune
"One of the most innovative and liberating writers of our time." — Geoff Dyer, The Observer
"A beautifully detailed story, perhaps the finest jazz novel ever written." — The Sunday Times
"Coming Through Slaughter ... is so stuffed full of the dolour and lust that both buoys and blemishes a life, it reads like a story dying to be told." — Books in Canada