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Renowned singer-songwriter Cohen also boasts a reputation as a writer for the printed page, especially in his native Canada. This capacious collection (his first since 1993's Stranger Music) compiles musings, jottings, quatrains, brief lyrics, prose meditations and offhand epigrams, along with Cohen's ink drawings and work in his own handwriting. The melancholy Cohen displays both a surface humility and an underlying self-confidence as he reflects on women (as when recalling his seduction of "the most beautiful girl/ on the religious left"), Zen doctrine, his own advancing age (Cohen turned 70 two years ago) and the legacy of the '60s. Many poems feel like his song lyrics: "Sometimes just a list/ Of my events/ Is holier than the Bill of Rights/ And more intense." The volume will get a boost from Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, a documentary scheduled for theatrical release. (May)
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“[Book of Longing] is not so much an illustrated collection of poems as it is a shaped autobiography.”
— Globe and Mail
“It reaffirms Cohen’s mastery in the domain of desire, and devotees will not be disappointed.”
— Austin Chronicle
“Tenderness may have replaced passion, but Cohen’s ability to capture this shift makes it poignant and meaningful. . . . Cohen has taken what his friend Irving Layton called ‘the inescapable lousiness of growing old’ and has given it, in its waning days, a profound romantic dignity.”
— Montreal Gazette
“He’s shown an uncanny knack for expressing the changing Zeitgeist.”
— Toronto Star
From the Trade Paperback edition.