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Barbara Gowdy's outrageous, hilarious, disturbing, and compassionate vel is about the Canary family, their immoderate passions and eccentricities, and their secret lives and histories. The deepest secret of all is harbored in the silence of the youngest daughter, Joan, who doesn't grow, who doesn't speak, but who can play the pia like Mozart though she's never had a lesson. Joan is a mystery, and in the vel's stunning climax her family comes to understand that each of them is a mystery, as marvelous as Joan, as irreducible as the mystery of life itself. In its compassionate investigation of moral truths and its bold embrace of the fractured nature of every one of its characters, Mister Sandman attains the heightened quality of a modern-day parable.
Barbara Gowdy lives in Toronto. She is the author of four previous works of fiction: 'Through the Green Valley', 'We So Seldom Look on Love', 'Falling Angels' and 'Mister Sandman'.