Méira Cook
Once More With Feeling

Book Cover

After twenty years Max Binder is still in love with his fiery wife, Maggie, and is determined to get her the perfect fortieth birthday gift. But Max’s singular desire—to make his wife happy—leads to an unexpected event that changes the course of his family’s life and touches the people who make up their western prairie city.

Set over the course of a single year, Once More With Feeling tells the story of a community through intersecting moments and interconnected lives. The colourful citizens who make up this city—bisected by railway lines and rivers, connected by boulevards and back alleys—are marked by transformation, upheaval, and loss: the worker at a downtown soup kitchen who recognizes a kindred spirit amongst the homeless; the aging sisters who everywhere see the fleeting ghosts of two missing neighbourhood children; a communal voice of mothers anxious for the future of their children in the discomfiting world they inhabit—this place of memory, amnesia, longing, and belonging.

Featuring a cast of eclectic characters, Once More With Feeling is about a community, about a family, and about the way time makes fond fools of us all. Award-winning author Méira Cook has crafted a novel that is at once funny, poignant, and yes, full of feeling.

Praise for Méira Cook's Once More With Feeling:

“[I]n its ensemble Once More with Feeling is a deeply satisfying work of fiction, which elevates Cook to the top echelon of Canadian writers.” —Ottawa Review of Books

“Possibly the only thing a reader can do with a Méira Cook novel is have no expectations at all. Because if you do, she’ll only grab you by them, and then swing you around and around her shoulder like a cowboy with a lasso. . . . Cook is an extraordinary writer, an award-winning poet, as adept at plotting words as story—her sentences are truly magnificent.”
—Kerry Clare, author of Mitzi Bytes

“Méira Cook has written a fine and funny novel that, like the city in which it is set, pulses with life, love, loss, and so much more. Vital and vivid characters spring from the page, grab your heart, and won’t let go.”
—Terry Fallis, two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour

“Brimming with warmth and a wry, often surrealistic sense of humour, Cook’s vibrant narrative delves beneath the tenuous surfaces of the everyday, asking us to re-examine the ways in which we see ourselves and understand the world.” —Kerry Lee Powell, author of the Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush

Praise for Méira Cook's Nightwatching:

Winner, Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction (2015/2016)

“The really good books are the ones that stay with you. Long after reading Nightwatching, I find it still vivid in my memory. Méira Cook has created three wonderfully memorable characters—an adolescent white girl, a middle-aged black woman, and a wayward eight year old boy—bound together by love, circumstance, and place, then rendered apart by the tragedy that was South Africa during the Apartheid era. An intimate and emotionally intense book that resonates far beyond its particular time and place.” —Lewis DeSoto, author of The Restoration Artist and A Blade of Grass

Nightwatching is an impressive achievement for its prolonged atmosphere of unease, its sustained tension.” —Winnipeg Free Press

Praise for Méira Cook's The House On Sugarbush Road:

Winner, McNally Robinson Book of the Year (2013)

"Cook has written a powerful, lyrical novel that ends quietly but with profound impact." —Quill & Quire, starred review

"I finished The House on Sugarbush Road stunned at the sheer life on its pages. I felt I had seen South Africa in a way that will always shape my thinking about it. The beauty of the language, the author's eye for moving and incongruous detail, her understanding of the searing realities of post—Apartheid South Africa—all are extraordinary. What Méira Cook especially grasps and explores with great delicacy are the ties that bind her characters together: a shared past, but also greed, need, and something approaching love." —Joan Thomas, author of Curiosity

Praise for Méira Cook's The Blood Girls:

"The South African-Canadian author writes gorgeous prose . . . this is a promising debut by a writer passionately devoted to the beauty of the written word." —Publishers Weekly

Category/Genre: Fiction—Literary
Length: 304 pages (pb)
Publication Date: September 2017

World rights, House of Anansi Press

For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.

Author Name

Méira Cook is the award-winning author of the novels The House on Sugarbush Road, which won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and Nightwatching, which won the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. She has also published five poetry collections, most recently Monologue Dogs, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry and for the 2016 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. She has won the CBC Poetry Prize and the inaugural Walrus Poetry Prize. She has served as Writer in Residence at the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, and the Winnipeg Public Library. Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, she now lives in Winnipeg.