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Larry Mathews

Exile's Perfect Letter, An

Exile's Perfect Letter, An

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Sixty-two-year-old English professor Hugh Norman is getting ready to retire and just going through the motions. He’s detached, irreverent, and quite pleased with himself. But then he learns of a long-lost friend’s sudden death, and shockingly discovers a body while walking through a city park. Suddenly, over just a few days, Hugh is compelled to deal with a large cast of eccentric characters and a police detective who has taken a sudden interest in his life. With a perfect sense of comedic timing, An Exile’s Perfect Letter is a portrait of a man forced to come of age all over again. It’s a send-up, a love story, an elegy for lost youth, and a celebration of friendships that stand the test of time.

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Breakwater Books


Larry Mathews was born in Montreal, grew up in Ottawa, and was educated at Carleton University (BA and MA) and the University of British Columbia (PhD). He taught at six Canadian universities before joining Memorial University’s English Department, where he taught until his retirement in 2015. In 1985 he taught the first creative writing course ever offered at Memorial, and he was the first co-ordinator of the creative writing program. His writing students include such now-published authors as Lisa Moore, Michael Winter, Claire Wilkshire, Aimee Wall, and Bridget Canning. His own academic specialization, originally William Blake, was contemporary Canadian and Newfoundland literature. He has published many articles on such writers as Alice Munro, David Adams Richards, Hugh Hood, Mavis Gallant, Norman Levine, and Keath Fraser. He has published about thirty stories in journals and anthologies, a collection of stories The Sandblasting Hall of Fame (Oberon, 2003), and two novels with Breakwater: The Artificial Newfoundlander (2010) and An Exile’s Perfect Letter (2018). He lives and writes in St. John’s with his wife, Claire Wilkshire.

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