About Lee Gowan

Lee is the author of the novels Confession, The Last Cowboy, (published in France as Jusqu’au bout du ciel), and Make Believe Love, which was nominated for the Trillium Award for best book in Ontario. He also published the critically acclaimed story collection Going to Cuba, and wrote the award-winning screenplay for Paris or Somewhere. He is also the Program Director for Creative Writing and Business Communications at the School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto.

His newest novel, The Beautiful Place, was published by Thistledown Press in September 2021.

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From the publisher:

Lee Gowan’s new novel, an audacious sequel to Sinclair Ross’ prairie classic, As for Me and My House, is about a man who is in trouble in love and work—a darkly funny cautionary tale for our times.

The man we know only as Bentley is floundering on every front, and like anyone who feels that he’s on the brink of annihilation, Bentley thinks back to his misspent youth, which was also the year he met his famous grandfather, the painter Philip Bentley, for the first time. He has inherited his grandfather’s tendency to self-doubt, as well as that cranky artist’s old service pistol.

How did Bentley end up as a cryonics salesman—a huckster for a dubious afterlife—when he wanted to be a writer? And who is the mysterious Mary Abraham, and why is she the thread unravelling his unhappy present? What will be left when all the strands come undone?

To learn more about Lee’s other books, The Last Cowboy and Make Believe Love, or to pre-order The Beautiful Place, visit his website.


“Gowan shows, with ingenuity, tenderness, and despair, that it’s in middle age, when we finally surrender the illusion of control, that we have our most intimate tussles with death.”

Linda Rui Feng, author of Swimming Back to Trout River

“. . . a preposterous, pan-Canadian tale, straight-faced, that evolves into a quest for a dead man’s frozen head. Subtly hilarious, beautifully crafted and with lots of moving parts, this novel is fresh, original, and compelling.”

Ken McGoogan, award-winning author

“ Written with assurance and quiet elegance, this is the novel lovers of Gowan’s work have been waiting for.”

Sharon Butala, author of Season of Fury and Wonder and Where I Live Now