Mirror on the Floor was first published in 1967 by McClelland and Stewart, the first novel from a young writer named George Bowering. Now with over 100 publications to his credit, we are proud to be reissuing this Vancouver classic, Bowering's debut novel.
The novel focuses on one summer in the life of UBC graduate student Bob Small, and his roommate, George Delsing, as they study, smoke cigarettes, endure tedious summer jobs, joust one another with philosophical banter and literary repartee, and strike out on near-nightly adventures in Small's "poor old over-traveled yellow Morris Minor" to the pubs and late-night diners of East Hastings and Main Street.
They spend much of their time carousing and engaging in conversation with the old-timers, retired seamen, dockworkers, and unemployed loggers. And it is on one such night that Bob Small encounters a mysterious and troubled young woman outside the city lock-up. Her name is Andrea and he can't seem to shake-or understand-the inexplicable attraction he feels for her; and from this night on, like an apparition, Andrea appears everywhere: the library, the coffee houses, the bars, the street, and Bob Small is slowly and inevitably pulled into her orbit, an orbit that spins on a tragic and ever-tightening inward coil.
Mirror on the Floor vividly evokes the Vancouver of the mid- to late-60s, a Vancouver where neon signs still shimmered on the rain-soaked streets of the Downtown Eastside and Granville Street bustled with movie-goers.
George Bowering, Canada's first Poet Laureate, was born in the Okanagan Valley.
After serving as an aerial photographer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Bowering earned a BA in English and an MA in History at the University of British Columbia, where he became one of the co-founders of the avant-garde poetry magazine TISH. He has taught literature at the University of Calgary, the University of Western Ontario, and Simon Fraser University, and he continues to act as a Canadian literary ambassador at international conferences and readings.
A distinguished novelist, poet, editor, professor, historian and tireless supporter of fellow writers, Bowering has authored more than eighty books, including works of poetry, fiction, autobiography, biography and fiction for young readers. His writing has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese and Romanian. His novel, Burning Water, won the Governor General's award for fiction and his memoir, Pinboy, was short-listed for the BC National Award for non-fiction in 2013.
In 2002, Bowering was recognized by the Vancouver Sun as one of the most influential people in British Columbia. He is currently at work on a collection of stories about women. He lives in West Point Grey with his wife Jean Baird.