The Canadian edition of I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen has just been released – to huge acclaim. The prestigious magazine Macleans hailed it with a two-page feature and an excerpt from the book concerning Leonard’s affair with fellow-Canadian Joni Mitchell.
Chief arts writer Brian D. Johnson described it as “the most discerning, intimate and definitive biography every written about Canada’s pre-eminent singer, songwriter, poet and monk. It’s the portrait of an artist raised in Montreal’s Westmount by a widowed mother who was clinically depressed; a devout student of seduction who studied a hypnotism manual after hitting puberty; a melancholy poet who learned guitar from a Spanish teacher who committed suicide after three lessons; and a traveller whose homes have included a Greek island, a mountaintop monastery, a Tennessee cabin and endless hotel rooms. The book is a saga of sex, drugs and meditation that explores Cohen’s epic struggle to preserve his art from the pressures of showbiz. Simmons tracks his odyssey through a ’70s minefield of failed studio sessions and acid-fuelled performances, through years of monastic exile, depression and calamitous financial ruin—to the miracle of his rebirth with an arena tour, which has occupied the better part of the past four years and returns to Canada next month, that has the 78-year-old bard playing three-hour shows to rapturous acclaim. “Here he is, bouncing around the world, skipping onto the stage, grinning from ear to ear,” says Simmons. “What I hadn’t expected is that the book would be a tale of redemption.”
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A cover story on the book in Cashbox Magazine stated, “Cohen fans have been waiting a long time for this book, containing interviews by the better known women in his songs like Suzanne and Marianne as well as interviews by the notoriously shy and private Cohen himself. More importantly even those who are not necessarily Cohen fans will be interested in the names and places in this book….This is the definitive biography of our Canadian national treasure and offers new perspectives on Cohen and his life.”
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And check out this excellent and lengthy review in Leonard’s hometown newspaper, The Montreal Gazette.
Sylvie will be in Toronto and Montreal in November, and will celebrate the last night of the promo tour with a free reading and concert at Soundscapes Records in Toronto. Check out the Tour section for details.