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The Englishman's Boy

by Guy Vanderhaeghe

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literary, historical
list price: $21
category: Fiction
published: 1997
imprint: Emblem Editions
  • , Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book
  • , Giller Prize
  • Winner, Governor General's Literary Award
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The Englishman’s Boy brilliantly links together Hollywood in the 1920s with one of the bloodiest, most brutal events of the nineteenth-century Canadian West – the Cypress Hills Massacre. Vanderhaeghe’s rendering of the stark, dramatic beauty of the western landscape and of Hollywood in its most extravagant era – with its visionaries, celebrities, and dreamers – provides vivid background for scenes of action, adventure, and intrigue. Richly textured, evocative of time and place, this is an unforgettable novel about power, greed, and the pull of dreams that has at its centre the haunting story of a young drifter – “the Englishman’s boy” – whose fate, ultimately, is a tragic one.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Contributor notes

Guy Vanderhaeghe was born in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, in 1951. He is the author of four novels, My Present Age (1984), Homesick (1989), co-winner of the City of Toronto Book Award, The Englishman’s Boy (1996), winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Saskatchewan Book Awards for Fiction and for Best Book of the Year, and a finalist for The Giller Prize and the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and, most recently, The Last Crossing (2002), a long-time national bestseller and winner of the Saskatoon Book Award, the Saskatchewan Book Awards for Fiction and for Book of the Year, and the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year, and a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. He is also the author of three collections of short stories, Man Descending (1982), winner of the Governor’s General’s Award and the Faber Prize in the U.K., and The Trouble With Heroes (1983), and Things As They Are (1992).

Acclaimed for his fiction, Vanderhaeghe has also written plays. I Had a Job I Liked. Once. was first produced in 1991, and won the Canadian Authors Association Award for Drama. His second play, Dancock’s Dance, was produced in 1995.

Guy Vanderhaeghe lives in Saskatoon, where he is a Visiting Professor of English at S.T.M. College.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Review

“It is a wonder and a glory – written by a man who has plundered the language for all its treasures. The story of the Englishman’s boy and his journey into hell and back is absolutely riveting.”
–Timothy Findley

The Englishman’s Boy is one of the finest historical novels ever written by a Canadian, an impossible-to-put-down adventure story that also packs some keen insights into the way civilization works.…”

“A vital and important novel with a bitterly coruscating message at its heart. Read it now.”
Edmonton Journal

“A great accomplishment.”
–Richard Ford

“A stunning performance. Highly enjoyable. I couldn’t put it down.”
–Mordecai Richler

“The canvas is broad, the writing is vivid, and the two story-lines are deftly interwoven to contrast cinematic ‘truth’ with history as it happened. An intense and original piece of writing.”
The Bookseller (U.K.)

“A richly textured epic that passes with flying colors every test that could be applied for good storytelling.”
–Saskatoon StarPhoenix

“Characters and landscapes are inscribed on the mind’s eye in language both startling and lustrous.”
Globe and Mail

“Vanderhaeghe succeeds at a daring act: he juggles style and stories with the skill of a master.…”
Financial Post

“There isn’t a dull moment.”
Toronto Sun

“A fine piece of storytelling, which, like all serious works of literature, as it tells its tale connects us to timeless human themes.”
Winnipeg Sun

“The Great Canadian Western.”
Canadian Forum

“Thematically, this is a big book, an important book, about history and truth, brutality and lies.”
Georgia Straight

“A compelling read.”
Halifax Daily News

“Vanderhaeghe shows himself to be as fine a stylist as there is writing today.”
Ottawa Citizen

From the Hardcover edition.

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