Lee Gowan’s new novel is an audacious sequel to Sinclair Ross’ prairie classic, As for Me and My House. The Beautiful Place is about a man who is in trouble in love and work—a darkly funny cautionary tale for our times.
“A preposterous, pan-Canadian tale, straight-faced, that evolves into a quest for a dead man’s frozen head. Subtly hilarious, beautifully crafted and with lots of moving parts, this novel is fresh, original, and compelling.” --Ken McGoogan, award-winning author
“Where is home? Where is here? In The Beautiful Place we discover that the true geography of art begins in the heart. Profound, witty, and charming: read this novel!” — Kim Echlin, author of Speak, Silence
The man we know only as Bentley is facing a triple threat—in other words, his life is a hot mess every way he looks. Like anyone who feels that he’s on the brink of annihilation, Bentley thinks back to his misspent youth, which was also the year he met his famous grandfather, the painter Philip Bentley, for the first time. To make matters worse, he has inherited his grandfather’s tendency to self-doubt, as well as that cranky artist’s old service pistol. Our hero is confused about so much. How did he end up as a cryonics salesman—a huckster for a dubious afterlife—when he wanted to be a writer? And who is the mysterious Mary Abraham, and why is she the thread unravelling his unhappy present? What will be left when all the strands come undone? Lee Gowan’s The Beautiful Place is the best kind of journey: both psychological and real, with a lot of quick-on-the-draw conversations and stunning scenery along the way —and only one gun, which may or may not be loaded.
Lee Gowan grew up on a farm near Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and studied at the University of British Columbia, where he earned an MFA in creative writing. He is the author of three previous novels: Confession, The Last Cowboy, and Make Believe Love, which was shortlisted for the Trillium Award for Best Book in Ontario. He is also an award-winning screenwriter, and was nominated for a Gemini Award for his screenplay Paris or Somewhere. He is currently Program Director, Creative Writing and Business Communications, at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.
The Last Cowboy by Lee Gowan:
“Gowan never wavers…the book simply flows. The Last Cowboy is an engaging book that is at once funny, poignant and a razor-sharp image of that most tender and terrible of entities: the family.” —The Globe and Mail “Gowan’s sparse, unadorned prose speaks much between the lines. His characters are well-wrought, etched as with acid, and true. And The Last Cowboy continues — and ups the ante — in the newest vein of western CanLit.” —The Hamilton Spectator
Make Believe Love by Lee Gowan:
“Gowan’s sparse, unadorned prose speaks much between the lines. His characters are well-wrought, etched as with acid, and true. And The Last Cowboy continues — and ups the ante — in the newest vein of western CanLit.” —The Hamilton Spectator “A promising debut…. Gowan’s command of language, his sense of place, his subject matter all make him a writer worth watching–and his main character, Joan Swift, is hard to forget. Most of all, she’s believable even when you’re not sure you believe her.” —The Gazette (Montreal)