The Life and Times of Captain N.
- Goose Lane Editions
- Initial publish date
- Apr 2001
- Literary, Alternative History, Historical
Paperback / softback
- Publish Date
- Apr 2001
- List Price
- Publish Date
- Oct 2013
- List Price
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Where to buy it
Douglas Glover's acclaimed novel The Life and Times of Captain N. is now available in a GLE Library edition. Originally published by McClelland & Stewart, the novel was acclaimed by the most respected critics in Canada and the US, and compelled The Toronto Star's Philip Marchand to call Glover "one of the most important Canadian writers of his generation."
Set on the Niagara frontier in the final days of the American Revolution, The Life and Times of Captain N. sees the revolutionary new world order from the standpoint of the losers. Hendrick Nellis, a Tory guerrilla, has also been a redeemer of whites abducted by Indians. His son Oskar finds himself sometimes allied with the Indians, sometimes at war with them. Hendrick kidnaps Oskar for King George's army, and Oskar, haunted by dreams and by books, is the teller of the tale. The book he intends to write is sketched out in his letters to George Washington and in the signs tattooed on his skin as mementos of his personal Indian wars.
The Life and Times of Captain N. trespasses into the no-man's-land where the delirium of combat drives races, genders, languages, and ideas into a primeval frenzy. Master of the psyche's primitive depths, Douglas Glover draws the reader into a violent and erotic emotional whirlpool. Some of the incidents in The Life and Times of Captain N. are based on the lives of the real Hendrick Nellis and his family, and, says Glover, "I have no doubt their descendents and relatives on both sides of the border will find much to complain of."
About the author
William Kennedy, the author of Ironweed, has called Douglas Glover "a very astute literary mind and an excEllent writer . . . a writer of substance," and Philip Marchand has called him "one of the most important Canadian writers of his generation." Even though he is always working outside the box, his books have gained acclaim from the most attentive critics. A Guide to Animal Behaviour was a finalist for the Governor General's Award; H.J. Kirchoff selected The Life and Times of Captain N. as a Globe and Mail top-ten paperback of 2001; and 16 Categories of Desire was a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Award for Fiction. Douglas Glover is a Canadian itinerant. He grew up on the family tobacco farm in southwestern Ontario, studied philosophy at York University and the University of Edinburgh, then worked on a series of daily newspapers in New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan before earning his MFA at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1982. He has written story collections, novels and a book of essays. Glover's fiction has been translated into Spanish, Japanese, Russian, and French, and his stories have been frequently anthologized, notably in The Best American Short Stories, Best Canadian Stories, The Journey Prize Anthology, The Macmillan Anthology and The New Oxford Book of Canadian Stories. Since he washed up in the upstate New York hinterlands in the early 90s, Glover has taught at Skidmore College, Colgate University, the State University of New York at Albany, and Vermont College. For two years he produced and hosted The Book Show, a weekly radio literary interview program that originated at WAMC in Albany and was syndicated on various public radio stations and around the world on Voice of America and the Armed Forces Network. He has two sons, Jacob and Jonah, who, he says, will no doubt turn out better than he did.
"I have not read a book as beautiful as The Life and Times of Captain N. since I read Nabokov's Pale Fire. ... The Life and Times of Captain N., entirely comprehensive in terms of plot, becomes a kind of poem which reflects upon dreaming, history, headaches, and masks. . The writing is vigorous and beautiful but also precise and plot-driven (story on story)."