Canongate must publish A leper ballet: a novel and storiesa “visionary” collection of early fiction by singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen.
The book, which features an afterword by Cohen scholar Alexandra Pleshoyano, will be released in the UK on October 11, 2022 in hardcover, electronic and audio formats. It will be published simultaneously by McClelland and Stewart in Canada and Grove in the United States. International rights requests are handled by the Wylie agency, which represents the Cohen estate in all literary matters.
“Drawn from a rich archive of previously unpublished material, the book will delight Cohen fans everywhere and prove that the magic that drove Cohen’s unforgettable oeuvre was there from the start,” says the synopsis.
“Written between 1956 in Montreal, when Cohen was publishing his first collection of poetry, and 1961, when he had settled on the Greek island of Hydra, the pieces in this collection offer a gripping insight into the imagination and of Cohen’s creative process. Through short fiction, a radio play and, most surprisingly, a first novel – the one he later remarked was “probably a better novel” than his famous book. favorite game– Cohen’s visceral genius is on full display.”
Robert Kory, trustee of the Leonard Cohen Family Trust, said: “Leonard said before his death that the true masterpiece of his life was his archives, which he kept meticulously for the benefit of fans and scholars so that they discover it one day. I am happy that, with this book, its readers and listeners can begin this rich journey.”
Canongate General Editor Francis Bickmore added: “A ballet of lepers reminds us why Leonard Cohen has been celebrated for his storytelling for six decades. The novel and unpublished stories here are superb additions to Cohen’s canon. Thanks to the discoveries in the archives of Leonard Cohen, his fans expect enormous and unexpected pleasure. Canongate is extremely proud to release this book in October and keep the flame burning.”
Jared Bland, publisher of McClelland & Stewart, said: “A ballet of lepers is the visionary work of a very great artist, and we are thrilled that Cohen fans can now come to know his particular genius even more intimately.”