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Starting with something as simple as a boy who wants a dog, award-winning novelist Elizabeth Hay's His Whole Life transports readers to an emotionally rich landscape populated by unforgettable characters, yet overshadowed by a sense of loss.
At the outset, ten-year-old Jim and his Canadian mother and American father are on a journey from New York City to a beautiful lake in eastern Ontario during the last hot days of August. Over the next few pivotal years of Jim's youth, the novel moves from city to country, summer to winter, well-being to illness, as it charts the deepening bond between mother and son, even as their small family starts to fall to pieces.
Set in the mid-1990s, when Quebec was on the verge of seceding from Canada, this captivating novel is an unconventional coming-of-age story that draws readers in with its warmth, wisdom, its vivid sense of place, its searching honesty, and nuanced portrait of the lives of a family and those closest to it.
Writing at the height of her powers, the award-winning Elizabeth Hay explores the mystery of how family members can wound each other so deeply, and remember those hurts in such detail, yet find surprising ways to make room for love, and even forgiveness.
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Elizabeth Hay is the bestselling, award-winning author of Late Nights on Air, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her other works include A Student of Weather(finalist for the Giller Prize and the Ottawa Book Award), Garbo Laughs (winner of the Ottawa Book Award and a finalist for the Governor General's Award), and Small Change (stories). In 2002, she received the prestigious Marian Engel Award. Elizabeth Hay lives and writes in Ottawa.Review:
"Hay has a delightful, deadpan wit, the kind that sneaks up on you."―--- The New York Times (about Garbo Laughs)
"A sparkling demonstration of Hollywood's hold on our fantasies--and its awkward fit with our earthbound selves."―--- Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review, about Garbo Laughs)
"Hay exposes the beauty simmering in the heart of harsh settings with an evocative grace that brings to mind Annie Proulx."―--- Washington Post (about A Student of Weather)
"Engrossing . . . Hay repeatedly brings her characters (and us) close to uncomfortable emotions and impulses--and she's compassionate rather than judgmental about their fallibility."―--- The Toronto Star (about Alone in the Classroom)
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