Likeness: A memoir

Category: Book
By (author): Macfarlane, David
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Death, Grief, Bereavement
  FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Parenting / Fatherhood
  NON-FICTION / Canadian
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Published: January 2021
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 240
Size: 8.25in x 5.50in x 0.59in
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$ 29.95
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*When the worst that can happen, happens, the only useful lesson is the knowledge that it can. That's the take-away: a world can actually end, time can actually run out, sadness can prevail. But I didn't know that then . . .
From one of Canada's most celebrated writers and the author of the classic memoir The Danger Tree comes an occasionally hilarious, sometimes heart-breaking meditation on love, memory, and the fathomless depths of grief.    
Likeness is a multi-generational story told through the vehicle of a painting, a portrait of Macfarlane by the well-known Canadian artist, John Hartman. The painting has ended up unexpectedly, temporarily, and enormously in Macfarlane's living room. He looks at it--a lot. It's hard to avoid.
To Macfarlane's surprise, the painting becomes a portal--not only into his own past, but into his father's, too. Through these two histories is woven the present--one dominated by illness. Macfarlane's son undergoes treatment for leukemia during the time the painting hangs in the family living room. Blake is a young man rich in creative possibility. There is music to be composed. There are films to be made. But Blake's future is as circumscribed by fate as his father's was wide open. A tragic difference, eloquently noted.
Likeness can be very funny. But it is also inescapably, achingly sad. A book of transcendent beauty, Likeness demonstrates the power of memory to transform the tragic into the precious and profound.
Review Quote*Advance praise for Likeness

"As soon as you turn the first page into David Macfarlane's Likeness, you are gone, deep into the nest of his effortless story-telling, as the story moves from a painting to a town to a father to a son, from memory to grief and back again, indelibly mapping as it goes the uncountable but always surprising places and people and histories that make us not just who we are, but that make us each other.  An unforgettable book." Ian Brown, author of Sixty

"Likeness is terrific. It's about the before and after of losing a son, but the before and after happen simultaneously, that's the miracle of the book. David Macfarlane has found a new form made of shards and broken pieces, and it's like music you've never heard before." -Elizabeth Hay, author of All Things Consoled
Biographical NoteDAVID MACFARLANE was born in Hamilton. His family memoir, The Danger Tree, was described by Christopher Hitchens as "one of the finest and most intriguing miniature elegies that I have read in many a year." Macfarlane's novel Summer Gone was shortlisted for the Giller Prize. Based on The Danger Tree, The Door You Came In, a two-man show (co-written and performed with Douglas Cameron), has been produced to acclaim from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Stratford, Ontario. Macfarlane lives in Toronto with his wife, the designer Janice Lindsay.