The Sweet Second Summer of Kitty Malone, first published in 1979, is one of Matt Cohen's four novels that came to be known as the Salem quartet--stories set in the fictional town of Salem in eastern Ontario, somewhere north of Kingston in the rugged farmland and forest of the Canadian Shield. These are the novels that first brought Matt Cohen to national attention. The Sweet Second Summer of Kitty Malone, a story about the pleasure of love that comes late in life, centres on the lives of two time-worn characters whose pursuit of happiness is strangely rewarded. With The Disinherited, another of the Salem novels, this is considered among the author's best works.
About the author
Matt Cohen was born in Kingston, Ontario in 1942. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Toronto. In the late 1960s he taught political economy at McMaster University before becoming a full-time writer. Since 1969 he has published twenty books, including novels, short stories, poetry and two books for children.
He received critical acclaim for many of his books, notably `The Salem Novels` - The Disinherited (1974), The Colours of War (1977), The Sweet Second Summer of Kitty Malone (1979), Flowers of Darkness (1981), and Emotional Arithmetic (1990). He was short-listed for the Governor General's Award in 1979 for The Sweet Second Summer of Kitty Malone and was a finalist for the 1988 Ontario Trillium Award for his short story collection Living on Water. As well, his short stories have twice won National Magazine Awards, and his books have been translated into Dutch, French and Portuguese.
Matt Cohen died in 1999.
- Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Awards - Fiction
"The people in this book are all striving to come of age the second time around, and the story of their struggles is both intriguing and marvellously told."
"Funny, potent, bittersweet...a work of joy and mastery."
"[Matt Cohen] is one of Canada's leading writers and preeminent storytellers."
—Los Angeles Times