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The Matter with Morris

A Novel

List Price: $15.95

August 23, 2011 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 256 Pages | ISBN 9781582437590
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“Immaculately written, trenchantly honest, hugely compelling...” —The Globe & Mail

When Morris Schutt, a prominent newspaper columnist, surveys his life over the past year, he sees disaster everywhere. His son has just been killed in Afghanistan, and his newspaper has put him on indefinite leave; his psychiatrist wife, Lucille, seems headed for the door; he is strongly attracted to Ursula, the wife of a dairy farmer from Minnesota; and his daughter appears to be having an affair with one of her professors.

What is a thinking man to do but turn to Cicero, Plato, and Socrates in search of the truth? Or better still, to call one of those discreet “dating services” in search of happiness? But happiness, as Morris discovers, is not that easy to find.

David Bergen’s most accomplished novel yet, The Matter with Morris is an unforgettable story with a vitality, charm, and intelligence all its own. Bergen proves once again that he is a rare and exceptional writer, dazzling us with his wit and touching us with his compassion.

DAVID BERGEN won the 2005 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel The Time in Between. He is the winner of the 2009 Writers Trust Notable Author Award, two McNally Robinson Book of the Year Awards, the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and the Carol Shields Book Award. He lives in Winnipeg, Canada.


“Bergen writes earnestly about dignity and duty, particularly as they apply to fatherhood and women… The novel is as strong as his introspection: ‘Questions flitted about his brain, and sometimes, on the verge of grasping an answer, he felt a moment of contentment. I am on the earth for no reason other than to be Morris Schutt.’” —Booklist

“Immaculately written, trenchantly honest, hugely compelling… For all its darkness, this novel about mourning and melancholy remains an optimistic book; in it, we are presented with some of the irresolvable ambiguities of human existence by a character who is twisted up inside, who at the same time successfully asks to be recognized as sombre and tender and wise.” —The Globe & Mail

“While there are no answers to that human dilemma in this book, what ultimately unites its many interesting characters is their journey for the answer in the face of absent loved ones. Just when it seemed like the subject of the war’s impact on families had grown barren, The Matter with Morris approaches the subject anew with a depth of human understanding and compassion.” —The Toronto Star

The Matter with Morris, as it unblinkingly follows a deeply conflicted man down his wrong-headed path, actually recalls a more recent novel, alongside which it can stand unashamed: J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace.” —The Montreal Gazette

“Stellar… intelligent, provocative and darkly funny… complex and moving.” —The Edmonton Journal

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