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The World of After

by Stephen Henighan

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literary, non-classifiable, historical
list price: $24.95
category: Fiction
published: 2021
publisher: Cormorant Books

In a graduate student residence at Oxford University in the early 1990s, Kevin, an Irish Montrealer, meets Leon, a London Jew from a Communist family, and Alex, a Soviet defector’s son brought up in Toronto. When Alex begins to tutor a charming yet troubled upper-class English undergraduate, the dynamics in their conflicted three-way friendship culminate in Kevin and Leon playing a prank on Alex. The act’s disastrous outcome binds the three young men together emotionally even as it dispatches them on separate courses through the 1990s.

Ranging from a precisely and ironically evoked Oxford, which parodies that of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, to post-Referendum Montreal, war-ravaged former Yugoslavia, London, Moscow, Poland and Berlin, The World of After depicts the 1990s as an interlude of freedom and confused but enriching self-discovery between the rigidity of the Cold War and the stark divisions of the post-September 11, 2001 world. Kevin struggles to find love, recover a friendship he has betrayed and chart a world he no longer understands as Leon dodges his past and Alex descends into a criminal culture that leads to a confrontation with his own values.

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About the Author

Stephen Henighan

Stephen Henighan is the author of four books of fiction, including The Places Where Names Vanish and North of Tourism. His short fiction has been published in journals and anthologies in Canada, Great Britain, Europe, and the United States. Recently he published the controversial When Words Deny the World: The Reshaping of Canadian Writing. Henighan teaches Spanish-American literature and culture at the University of Guelph in Ontario.

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