First Fiction Fridays: The Beautiful West and the Beloved of God

September 12, 2014

After extensive work in contemporary performance, Michael Springate’s interests have crystallized into a first novel that maps currents of world history as they coursed through Montreal during the first decade of the 21st century.

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What:

The Beautiful West & The Beloved of God ( Guernica Editions, 2014)

Who:

Michael Springate was the founding Artistic Director of the Painted Bird Ensemble in Montreal, active during the 1970's. In 1984 he became the Artistic Director of Playwrights Workshop Montreal, where he initiated the program New Music New Text, as well as Playwrights' Retrospective. He became the Assistant Head of the Theatre Section at the Canada Council prior to becoming the Artistic Director of Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg. His production of "The Stone Angel" was invited to a sold out run at The National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Why you need to read this now:
 
After extensive work in contemporary performance, Michael Springate’s interests have crystallized into a first novel that maps currents of world history as they coursed through Montreal during the first decade of the 21st century.
 
In the spring of 2008, Elena, who recently moved to Montreal with her seven year old daughter, Sharon, finds a job in a retail store on Sherbrooke Street. She meets Mahfouz working in his family’s fast food outlet on The Main. Partially as an antidote to her chronic loneliness, partially influenced by Sharon’s spontaneous affection for him, Elena commits to a deepening relationship with Mahfouz. But then, when Mahfouz doesn’t return from a visit to Cairo, and his father is picked up and held indefinitely for unknown charges on undisclosed evidence, things  take a turn for the worst.  
 
The Beautiful West and the Beloved of God is both a gripping work of fiction and a philosophical journey into some of the most controversial issues in the world today. It is a meeting place between East and West, the first world and the third.
 
What other people are saying about it:
 
"The best and bravest book I’ve read in years. The Beautiful West & The Beloved of God is on par with the moral voices of Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn." – Charles Orloski
 
"...an exceptional novel, set in Montreal and Egypt... The author's historical awareness amply supports a deeply personal and local story, giving it a global resonance." – Rana Bose, author of The Fourth Canvas and Recovering Rude
 
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Thank you, Guernica Editions, for sharing this exciting book with us!


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