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Biography & Autobiography Entertainment & Performing Arts

Leonard Cohen

A Woodcut Biography

by (author) George Walker

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2020
Entertainment & Performing Arts, Popular Culture
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price

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About the previous edition: "Definitely succeeds as an art book, thanks to the quality of Walker's engravings; and as a collectible for Cohen fans, thanks to how well the artist captures his subject." --Foreword Reviews

In Leonard Cohen, master engraver George A. Walker offers new perspectives on the life and artistic accomplishments of a poet and musician who has captivated generations for six decades and whose influence circles the globe still.

Arranged chronologically, the engravings depict scenes from Cohen's many and varied creative endeavors, including poetry, novels, singing and songwriting. The book also presents portraits of some of the many famous characters who shared Cohen's life and friendship, from poets Irving Layton and Allan Ginsberg, to musicians Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, and celebrated artist Andy Warhol.

Best read to music, Leonard Cohen presents images of Cohen's iconic public persona alongside vivid interpretations of his ever-evolving work. The engravings compose a biographical mosaic that invites readers to contemplate the public perception of Cohen's critical and commercial acclaim. Some scenes are drawn from history, others from Walker's imagination. The images encourage us to search beyond the visual elements and to see in them a poem, a song, a meaningful turn of phrase. They urge us to consider Cohen's life and work through the lens of our own experience.

Leonard Cohen was conceived as a celebration of Cohen's eightieth birthday and was first published as a limited edition of eighty copies hand printed at Walker's studio in Toronto. This revised edition has 2 additional engravings.


About the author

by George A. Walker ; Introduction by Tom Smart

George Walker's profile page

Editorial Reviews

[Review of previous edition:] Definitely succeeds as an art book, thanks to the quality of Walker's engravings; and as a collectible for Cohen fans, thanks to how well the artist captures his subject.

Foreword Reviews

An adapted and expanded version of a book first published in a limited edition to mark Cohen's 80th birthday in 2014, the new book takes the Cohen story all the way to the end, utilizing 82 wood-engraved images and minimal captions to create an engrossing work that is, in the author's apt words, 'something more akin to a silent film than to a structured textual narrative'.

Montreal Gazette

The engravings are intricate, accurate, and creative... It's truly fascinating to read about his life through the eyes of Walker.

Hook Magazine

Selection, Holiday Gift Guide

CBC Books

The Canadian master engraver first published this intimate book as a very limited edition to mark Leonard Cohen's 80th birthday; this reprise expands to include the troubadour's final exit. A largely wordless biography of stark woodcuts that has the expressive power of a silent film.

Globe and Mail

Other titles by George Walker