A new novel that Richard B. Wright’s Clara Callan fans will adore, October effortlessly weaves a haunting coming-of-age story set in World War II Quebec with a contemporary portrait of a man still searching for answers in the autumn of his life.
In England to see his daughter, Susan, who is gravely ill, James Hillyer, a retired professor of Victorian literature, encounters by chance a man he once knew as a boy. Gabriel Fontaine, a rich and attractive American he met one summer during the war, when he was sent on a holiday to the Gaspé, is a mercurial figure, badly crippled by polio. A s an adolescent, James was both attracted to and repelled by Gabriel’s cocksure attitude and charm. He also fell hopelessly in love with Odette, a French- Canadian girl from the village, only to find himself in competition with the careless Gabriel. Now, at this random meeting over six decades later—as he struggles with the terrible possibility that he could outlive his own daughter—James is asked by Gabriel to accompany him on a final, unthinkable journey. A t last, James begins to see that all beginnings and endings are inexorably linked.
A classic Richard B. Wright novel, defined by superb storytelling, subtle, spare writing and characters who travel psychological territory as familiar—and uncharted—as our own, October is an extraordinary meditation on mortality, childhood and memory.
About the author
The author of nine novels, Richard Wright has been published in Canada, the United States, and the U.K. His novel, The Middle of Life, won the city of Toronto Book Award and the Faber Award, and his novel, The Age Of Longing was nominated for the Governor General's Award and the Giller Prize. He lives, writes, and teaches in St. Catherines, Ontario.