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Fiction Psychological

My Present Age

by (author) Guy Vanderhaeghe

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
Apr 2000
Psychological, City Life, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2000
    List Price

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Ed is punchy, unemployed, and on the wrong side of thirty. After his exasperated wife, Victoria, leaves him, Ed finds consolation where he has always found it, in his own rich and eccentric imagination. Pursued by the demons of his own obsession, Ed embarks on a quixotic quest to find Victoria. As he prowls the city’s parking garages and motel strips, Ed begins a journey back into his past and is forced – most reluctantly – to confront the web of lies and self-deceptions he has woven to keep reality at bay – until even his fantasies start to turn against him. Keenly observant, humane, and darkly comic, My Present Age is an irresistible story about what happens when an Everyman becomes a casualty of modern life.

About the author

Guy Vanderhaeghe was born in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan in 1951. He is the author of six books of fiction. His first two books were collections of short stories: Man Descending (1982), which won the Governor’s General’s Award, and the Faber Prize in the U.K., and The Trouble With Heroes (1983). My Present Age, a novel, was published in 1984 and was followed by Homesick in 1989. That novel was a co-winner of the City of Toronto Book Award. His third book of short stories was the highly praised Things As They Are? (1992). The Englishman’s Boy (1996) was a long-time national bestseller and won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction and for Best Book of the Year, and was short-listed for The Giller Prize, and the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the world’s largest monetary award for a single book. Acclaimed for his fiction, Vanderhaeghe has also written plays. I Had a Job I Liked. Once. was first produced in 1991, and won the Canadian Authors Association Award for Drama. His second play, Dancock’s Dance, was produced in 1995. He is currently completing a screenplay for The Englishman’s Boy. Guy lives in Saskatoon, where he is a Visiting Professor of English at S.T.M. College. His most recent book, The Last Crossing, has been short-listed for a total of three Saskatchewan Book Awards: Best Book of the Year, Fiction Book of the Year, and the Saskatoon Book Award.

Guy Vanderhaeghe's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“It is compulsively readable…and presents us with wholly credible people. This is realism at its best.…”
Financial Times (U.K.)

“Vanderhaeghe’s considerable achievement in the novel is to explore the bleak landscape of contemporary relationships with uncommon insight and to create a memorable character who evokes our sympathy despite – or perhaps because of – his many frailties.”
Globe and Mail

“[Vanderhaeghe is] a savagely funny writer.…[He] has created the perfect vessel from which to launch his kamikaze sorties into contemporary life.…He has created one of the more quirkily appealing characters in recent fiction.”
Washington Post

“[A] masterful novel.…Not a single false note mars the author’s graceful, precise depiction of the present era and its pitfalls.”
ALA Booklist (U.S.)

“[Vanderhaeghe is] an author of palpable and protean gifts.”
Boston Globe

My Present Age is black comedy at its intimate and subversive best.”
–Douglas Barbour, Canadian Literature

“Very nearly unique among present-day novels of any sort: like Philip Roth and almost no one else, Vanderhaeghe has the ability to make you root for the protagonist without setting up straw men or women for the protagonist.…”
–Greil Marcus, Express, Berkeley (U.S.)

“A fast, fluent and very funny novel.…This is a hilarious, bleakly realistic comedy about modern life’s conformists and casualties. Or more precisely, about what can happen when it’s finally time to grow up – and you can’t.”
Imagine Magazine (U.K.)

“[A] wonderful first novel.…Brilliantly funny and very sad.”
San Jose Mercury News

“Compassionate, humorous, and thematically important.”
Bloomsbury Review (U.S.)

“A deftly done novel.…[My Present Age] is astonishing in conception and execution.…”
San Diego Magazine

“An irresistible first novel.…An achievement.…”
Spectator (U.K.)

“A beautifully sustained performance.”
USA Today

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