Book of Longing

Leonard Cohen, Author
Leonard Cohen, Author . Ecco $24.95 (231p) ISBN 978-0-06-112558-4
Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006

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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