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CanLit150

Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

David Bezmozgis Recommends

Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen

Beautiful Losers (1966)

(From Penguin Random House)

One of the best-known experimental novels of the 1960s, Beautiful Losers is Cohen’s most defiant and uninhibited work. The novel centres upon the hapless members of a love triangle united by their sexual obsessions and by their fascination with Catherine Tekakwitha, the 17th-century Mohawk saint.

By turns vulgar, rhapsodic, and viciously witty, Beautiful Losers explores each character’s attainment of a state of self-abandonment, in which the sensualist cannot be distinguished from the saint.

Leonard Cohen

(From Penguin Random House)

Leonard Cohen’s artistic career began in 1956 with the publication of his first book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies. He published two novels, The Favourite Game and Beautiful Losers, and ten books of poetry, most recently Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs and Book of Longing. During a recording career that spanned almost fifty years, he released fourteen studio albums, the last of which, You Want It Darker, was released in 2016. Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, and was awarded the Glenn Gould Prize in 2011. He died on November 7, 2016.