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Fiction Literary

From a Seaside Town

by (author) Norman Levine

Porcupine's Quill
Initial publish date
Aug 1993
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 1993
    List Price

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Joseph Grand, the hero of From a Seaside Town, is a travel writer struggling to eke out an existence in an English seaside town. He introduces us to the small circle of relatives and companions who figure in his life. As he explores the sequence of events that led him to his present state of limbo, it becomes apparent that his crisis is not merely financial but also a crisis of personal identity. A Canadian Jew, Grand has spent a lifetime seeking to submerge his past. Now as a consequence, he discovers that he belongs nowhere. By turns comic and moving, this beautifully observed and beautifully written novel is a striking example of Norman Levine's artistry.

From a Seaside Town has quietly become a classic. It is a book which simply will not go away.

About the author

Norman Levine was born in Ottawa in 1923. During World War II, he served in the RCAF with a Lancaster squadron based in Yorkshire. He subsequently studied at Cambridge and McGill Universities, receiving his M.A. from McGill University in 1949. In 1949 he was awarded a fellowship to do post-graduate work at King's College, London. He left Canada with the manuscript for his first novel under his arm and spent the next 31 years in England, mainly in St Ives, Cornwall. He returned to Canada briefly from 1965-66 when he was the first writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick.

Norman Levine is the author of 2 books of poetry, Myssium (1948) and The Tightrope Walker (1950); 2 novels, The Angled Road (1952) and From a Seaside Town (1970); and several collections of short fiction, including One Way Ticket (1961), Canada's Winter Tales (1968), I don`t want to know anyone too well (1971), Selected Stories (1975), Thin Ice (1979), Why do you live so far away? (1984), Champagne Barn (1984) and Something Happened Here (1991).

Norman Levine died in 2005.

Norman Levine's profile page

Editorial Reviews

'Mr. Levine is a true artist, who grinds his bones -- and anything else he can lay his hands on -- to make his bread.'

The Sunday Times

'Norman Levine sees with a clear eye a good deal of the tragic comedy of human life. And he writes in a marvellously clean, naked prose which is a joy to read.'

The Montrealer

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