From Edmonton novelist Lynn Coady comes “an unforgettable, unflinching story of a life gone wron” which was recently shortlisted for the $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Elizabeth Withey, arts writer for the Edmonton Journal describes the book as about “a former hockey enforcer chronicles his life in letters to his ex- best friend.” The publisher, Anansai Press, describes the book: “Against his will and his nature, the hulking Gordon Rankin (“Rank”) is cast as an enforcer, a goon — by his classmates, his hockey coaches, and especially his own “tiny, angry” father, Gordon Senior. Rank gamely lives up to his role — until tragedy strikes, using Rank as its blunt instrument. Escaping the only way he can, Rank disappears. But almost twenty years later he discovers that an old, trusted friend — the only person to whom he has ever confessed his sins — has published a novel mirroring Rank’s life. The betrayal cuts to the deepest heart of him, and Rank will finally have to confront the tragic true story from which he’s spent his whole life running away. With the deep compassion, deft touch, and irreverent humour that have made her one of Canada’s best-loved novelists, Lynn Coady delves deeply into the ways we sanction and stoke male violence, giving us a large-hearted, often hilarious portrait of a man tearing himself apart in order to put himself back together.
Reviews are coming in fast and furiously for the novel:
[Lynn Coady] has a hearty wit and a piercing understanding of human nature . . . [she] has made herself one of our essential writers.
Quill & Quire
The Antagonist could have not have come at a better time. In our fast, media-saturated world, this novel gives the reader the refreshing and increasingly rare opportunity to take a closer, more compassionate look at someone wrongly judged by his outer shell.
. . . thoroughly engrossing. . . a breathless and frequently hilarious narrative . . . one of the freshest voices in years.
A deft blend of farce, tragedy and wry social comment, The Antagonist is no mean feat.
. . .a richly comic creation . . . a revealing effort in cross-gender empathy.
. . . far more complex than the hilarious one-liners that make her work so irresistible to read.
In this coming-of-age tale, male friendships and relationships are explored in all their goofiness and complexity . . . [Lynn Coady is] one of Canada’s best writers of fiction.
Winnipeg Free Press
. . . a readable, quixotic coming-of-age story, a comedy of very bad manners, and a thoughtful inquiry into the very nature of self. It’s the sort of novel — and Coady the sort of writer — deserving of every accolade coming to it.
. . . by turns angry, funny, tender, and sad . . . The Antagonist is a full-bodied work of fiction.
The Antagonist is a crafty, technically-accomplished series of meditations on subjects ranging from manhood and self-knowledge to tricky father-son relationships.
About the Author:
Lynn Coady is an award-winning author, editor, and journalist. Her previous novels include Saints of Big Harbour, which was a national bestseller and a Globe and Mail Top 100 book, and Mean Boy, a Globe and Mail Top 100 book. Her popular advice column, Group Therapy, runs weekly in the Globe and Mail. Coady is originally from Cape Breton Island, NS, and is now living in Edmonton, Alberta.