Happy book birthday to LIKENESS by David Macfarlane, out today from Random House Canada!

“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

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 itis also inescapably, achingly sad. A book of transcendent beauty, Likeness demonstrates the power of memory to transform the tragic into the precious and profound.

David Macfarlane’s 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 short-listed 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. David is represented by Samantha Haywood.