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Famous Last Meals
Famous Last Meals

Famous Last Meals


280 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $16.95 (US $16.95) (CA $19.95)

Publication Date: April 2015

ISBN 9781927855171

Rights: WOR X CA

Great Plains Publications (Apr 2015)
Enfield & Wizenty


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Famous Last Meals is a trio of contemporary novellas about the roles we play in an age when everyone is an actor. The curtain opens on “Candidates,” a gentle satire starring a recent university grad who knows and cares little about politics but who finds himself working as a summer intern on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. “Famous Last Meals” examines two couples and their complex relationship as they re-enact the final repasts of famous people who died before the age of 30. “The Woman in the Vineyard” completes the triptych with a compulsive story about literary jealousy and the danger of becoming lost in the labyrinth of another writer’s sources.


"As Richard Cumyn proves in this collection of three short works, when pulled off correctly, the novella can be more satisfying and layered than even the most complex novel." — Michael Melgaard, Maple Tree Literary Supplement

"Cumyn's novellas hark back to the intrigue and nostalgic elegance of manly works from the 1920s: a sort of cross between Maurice Dekobra and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle." — Kathleen Winter

"Simply masterful, three nimble novellas that are sensual, smart, and very funny. This rich volume boasts a crowded cast of travelers and dancers and vineyard denizens, and political satire that is poker-faced, yet strangely giddy, an odd reality of harmony and discord, a weird mirror land that is us, and piquant prose so good it must be fattening." — Mark Anthony Jarman, author of Knife Party at the Hotel Europa

"…the prose and characterization are so good that I trust them at least as much as myself." — Literary Review of Canada

"moments of astute political satire, contrasted with interpersonal challenges and communications breakdowns." — Winnipeg Free Press

"Cumyn has absolute control over the very clear and clever narration of his characters, and can draw them into madness and violence without also drawing his prose into histrionics." — Antigonish Review

"Famous Last Meals is a welcome addition to Richard Cumyn's oeuvre and adds fuel to the argument that he is among the best writers of short (and medium length) fiction working today." — Ian Colford, author of The Crimes of Hector Tomás and Evidence

Author Biography

RICHARD CUMYN is the author of nine books of fiction. A past fiction editor of The Antigonish Review, he has been published widely in Canada in such literary journals as The New Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, Grain, PRISM International and Event. He has been shortlisted twice for the ReLit Award, was a finalist for a National Magazine Award (essay), and was long-listed for the 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. His screen adaptation of Susan Kerslake's novel, Penumbra, won a 1998 Linda Joy Media Arts Award. He has taught fiction at the Maritime Writers' Workshop, read his work in the Dalhousie University, St. Jerome's (Waterloo) and Lorenzo (UNBSJ) reading series and has been short-term writer in residence at St. Mary's University. He lives in Edmonton.