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Leaning, Leaning Over Water
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A poignant and compelling novel in ten stories, by the acclaimed author of the prizewinning novel DEAFENING. The Second World War is over when Jock moves his family to Quebec, where he lives with his wife, Maura, and their three children in a small bungalow, complains about the government, and tries to teach his children about life and poetry. But beneath the unrippled domestic surface bubble the anxieties and hopes of the women in the family.
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About the Author

Frances Itani is the award-winning author of four acclaimed short story collections and three poetry collections. She has also written a children's book, and was poetry editor of Canadian Forum for several years. She grew up in Quebec, has travelled extensively, and now divides her time between Ottawa and Geneva.

Reviews

'This lyrical portrait of life in postwar Canada is touchingly illustrated with family photographs' -- The Times 'Itani's skill at evoking a sense of place is extraordinary; not just the overall setting, but also the smaller special locations that develop and retain significance in the characters' lives. Itani reminds us of the ways in which, as family members, we seek out these private spaces, moments and places to ourselves ... Also Impressive is her success in meticulously weaving the fabric of foibles, in-jokes and repeated stories that make up a sense of family ... evocative, unshowy writing.' -- Herald 'A subtle, sinister coming-of-age novel ... Itani's psychological study captures perfectly the preoccupations of a teenage girl and her emerging consciousness - as well as the cultural and religious tensions of post-war Canada ... This is a story that refuses to be hurried but if you allow the prose to pull you in, it's worth the wait, as a sudden series of events catapults the family into chaos' -- Financial Times 'The best Canadian growing-up novels have a tight focus, an earthy odour and a secret bitterness that their American cousins, all epic sweep and sentimentality, often lack. Frances Itani's collection of 10 linked stories is no exception ... Itani has won several awards in Canada, against stiff competition; she is clearly one to watch.' -- Guardian 'This sparkling, resonant and finely sculptured novel is a remarkable achievement.' -- Age (Australia) 'For all its quiet surface there's a powerful current underneath, and Itani is that rare kind of writer who can make this undertow work' -- Canberra Times 'Itani has crafted a coming of age story with a difference!Itani's skill in evoking a sense of place is impressive.' -- Herald Sun 'The stories reveal, slowly and with a sureness of touch, the cluttered cares of childhood, the confusion that accompanies the coming of adulthood and stolid acceptance of unavoidable sorrow' -- London Free Press 'Told with a relaxed combination of calm delicacy and sharp, detailed precision' -- Ottawa Citizen 'Has great passages of lucid, emotionally stirring writing about ordinary life and childhood discoveries' -- Globe and Mail 'This lyrical portrait of life in postwar Canada is touchingly illustrated ' -- The Times 'Itani's skill at evoking a sense of place is extraordinary; not just the overall setting, but also the smaller special locations that develop and retain significance in the characters' lives. The life of the Kings is not itself idyllic, but the success with which it is painted goes beyond what one can imagine being possible in a true-life memoir. The Ottawa River feels like a constant presence amid the calm, precise prose, almost attaining the status of a character. evocative, unshowy writing.' -- Herald 'A subtle, sinister coming-of-age novel ...Itani's psychological study captures perfectly the preoccupations of a teenage girl and her emerging consciousness - as well as the cultural and religious tensions of post-war Canada ... This is a story that refuses to be hurried but if you allow the prose to pull you in, it's worth the wait ...' -- Financial Times 'Itani has crafted a coming of age story with a difference!Itani's skill in evoking a sense of place is impressive.' -- Herald Sun

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