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Hal Wiens, a retired professor, is mourning the sudden death of his loving wife, Yo. To get through each day, he relies on the bare comfort of routine and regular phone calls to his children Dennis and Miriam, who live in distant cities with their families. One snowy April morning, while drinking coffee with his Dené friend Owl in south-side Edmonton, he sees a tall man in an orange downfill jacket walk past on the sidewalk. The jacket, the posture, the head and hair are unmistakable: it's his beloved oldest son, Gabriel. But it can't be--Gabriel killed himself 25 years ago. The sighting throws Hal's inert life into tumult. While trying to track down the man, he is irresistibly compelled to revisit the diaries, journals and pictures Gabe left behind, to unfold the mystery of his son's death. Through Gabe's own eyes we begin to understand the covert sensibilities that corroded the hope and light his family knew in him. As he becomes absorbed in his son's life, lost on a tide of "relentless memory," Hal's grief--and guilt--is portrayed with a stunning immediacy, drawing us into a powerful emotional and spiritual journey. Come Back is a rare and beautiful novel about the humanity of living and dying, a lyrical masterwork from one of our most treasured writers.
RUDY WIEBE's novels, stories and essays stand at the forefront of Canadian literature. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada. He has won the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction twice, for The Temptations of Big Bear and for A Discovery of Strangers. He is also the co-author of Stolen Life, which won the Viacom Canada Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize, the Saskatchewan Book Award for Non-Fiction and the Alberta Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction. His memoir, Of This Earth, won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction and was a national bestseller.
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