From one of Canada’s most honoured authors—the winner of the Giller Prize and Governor General's Award—comes a brilliant,
bittersweet story of fathers and daughters, boys and men, and the losses that bind us all.
A new novel that Richard Wright’s Clara Callan fans are bound to adore, October effortlessly weaves a haunting coming-of-age portrait set in World War II Quebec with a contemporary story of a man still searching for answers in the autumn of his life.
In England to see his gravely ill daughter, James Hillyer, a retired professor of Victorian literature, meets 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. As an adolescent, James was both attracted to and repelled by Gabriel’s cocksure attitude and needy 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 thought that he could outlive his own daughter, Susan—James is asked by Gabriel to accompany him on a final, unthinkable journey. At last, James begins to see that all beginnings and endings are inexorably linked.
A classic Richard 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 childhood, memory and mortality.
Praise for Richard B. Wright’s October:
#1 National Bestseller
Longlisted for The Giller Prize, 2007
Longlisted for the 2009 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
“Wright again never overreaches and his fidelity to the emotion of his characters is what gives this book its power ... wonderfully subtle ... inexpressibly precious.” —The Globe & Mail
“October is a gently persuasive novel, solidly grounded in human observation, propelled by character, imbued with wisdom.” —The Gazette (Montreal)
“a compact, spare masterpiece of deeply felt but rarely expressed emotional range ... Wright is a master of the subtle gesture, the revealing minutiae which underscore the most seemingly ordinary of conversations or incidents. ...It takes a tremendous writer indeed to reveal these subtle underpinnings.” —Edmonton Journal
“a lovely juxtaposition of youth and age, adolescent heartbreak and elderly pragmatism. It’s Richard B. Wright at his best.” —What’s on Winnipeg
Length: 241 pp
Setting: England, Europe, Canada
Period: contemporary, WWII
Australia/New Zealand rights, HarperCollins AUS/NZ
Canadian rights, HarperCollins Canada
Turkish rights, Pegasus
For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.
||Richard B. Wright is the author of twelve novels and a book for children. His fiction has been published in Canada, the U.S. and Europe and has won various awards including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the City of Toronto Book Award, the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction.