The Book of Malcolm

By (author): Fraser Sutherland

Afterword by: John Pepall

Foreword by: Carmine Starnino

A father reflects on the rich life of his son, who died suddenly at twenty-six after living with schizophrenia.

On the morning of Boxing Day 2009, the poet Fraser Sutherland and his wife found their son, Malcolm, dead in his bedroom in their house. He was twenty-six and had died from a seizure of unknown cause. Malcolm had been living with schizophrenia since the age of seventeen.

Fraser?s respectful narration of Malcolm?s life ? his happiness as well as his sufferings, his heroic efforts to calm his troubled mind, his readings, his writings, his experiments with religious thought ? is a master writer?s attempt to give shape and dignity to his son?s life, to memorialize it as more than an illness. And in writing about his son?s life, Fraser creates his own self-effacing memoir ? the memoir of a parent?s resilience through years of stressful care.

Fraser Sutherland, one of Canada?s finest poetry critics and essayists, died shortly after completing this book.

A RARE MACHINES BOOK

AUTHOR

Carmine Starnino

Carmine Starnino has published five collections of poetry, including This Way Out, which was nominated for the Governor General’s Award in 2009 and recently translated into French by Éditions Hashtag under the title Par Ici La Sortie. His most recent collection is Leviathan. His other books include The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry and Lazy Bastardism, a collection of essays on contemporary poetry. He has received numerous awards, including the CAA Prize for Poetry, the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, and the F.G. Bressani Prize, in addition to being shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Prize for the best first book of poetry. He lives in Montreal with his wife and three children.


AUTHOR

Fraser Sutherland

Fraser Sutherland is a much travelled Nova Scotian who now lives in Toronto, Ontario. He has published sixteen books, including poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction in Canada and the United States. His work has appeared worldwide in magazines and anthologies in print and online, and has been translated into French, Italian, Albanian, Serbian, and Farsi. Before he became a freelance writer and editor, Sutherland reported for The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and The Wall Street Journal. He was a founding editor of Northern Journey, a columnist for Quill & Quire, and the managing editor of Books in Canada. A reviewer for The Globe and Mail and other periodicals, Sutherland has written and edited for dictionaries in three countries, and may be the only Canadian writer who is also a lexicographer.

AUTHOR

John Pepall

Fraser Sutherland (1946–2021) was the author of seventeen previous books of poetry and essays. He was a widely respected critic, editor, and lexicographer. Originally from Pictou, Nova Scotia, he lived for periods in Montreal, Toronto, Sarajevo, British Columbia, Scotland, Portugal, and China.

Reviews

Part elegy, part existential howl, The Book of Malcolm is an investigation of a beloved child’s life, of the moods and registers of his mental illness, and of the sometimes harrowing family moments.
– from the Foreword by Carmine Starnino

The Book of Malcolm makes the mundane moments of family and of lived, shared experience shine beautifully. That Sutherland loved his son, and that family is a complicated blessing, are made achingly clear.
– Winnipeg Free Press

Brought me to tears? short but hugely compelling book.
– Literary Review of Canada

Doesn?t let the tragedy dominate the narrative ? Fraser maintains a light touch, a detachment that is both rare and endearing but also a bit unsettling.
– The Beacon

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Excerpts & Samples ×
A father reflects on the rich life of his son, who died suddenly at twenty-six after living with schizophrenia.

On the morning of Boxing Day 2009, the poet Fraser Sutherland and his wife found their son, Malcolm, dead in his bedroom in their house. He was twenty-six and had died from a seizure of unknown cause. Malcolm had been living with schizophrenia since the age of seventeen.

Fraser?s respectful narration of Malcolm?s life ? his happiness as well as his sufferings, his heroic efforts to calm his troubled mind, his readings, his writings, his experiments with religious thought ? is a master writer?s attempt to give shape and dignity to his son?s life, to memorialize it as more than an illness. And in writing about his son?s life, Fraser creates his own self-effacing memoir ? the memoir of a parent?s resilience through years of stressful care.

Fraser Sutherland, one of Canada?s finest poetry critics and essayists, died shortly after completing this book.

A RARE MACHINES BOOK

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

200 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * 1in
250gr

Published:

January 18, 2022

City of Publication:

Toronto

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

Dundurn Press

ISBN:

9781459749566

9781459749573 – PDF

9781459749580 – EPUB

Featured In:

Books on Mental Health

Language:

eng

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