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The Librarianist - Patrick deWitt

The Librarianist

By: Patrick deWitt

Paperback | 4 July 2023

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From bestselling and award-winning author Patrick deWitt comes a novel about an ordinary man who thought life's surprises were behind him – until a chance encounter changes everything

Bob Comet is a retired librarian passing his solitary days surrounded by books in a mint-colored house in Portland, Oregon. One morning on his daily walk he encounters a confused elderly woman lost in a market and returns her to the senior center that is her home. Hoping to fill the void he's known since retiring, he begins volunteering at the center. Here, as a community of strange peers gathers around Bob, and following a happenstance brush with a painful complication from his past, the events of his life and the details of his character are revealed.

Behind Bob Comet's straight man facade is the story of an unhappy child's runaway adventure during the last days of the Second World War, of true love won and stolen away, of the purpose and pride found in the librarian's vocation, and the pleasures of a life lived to the side of the masses. Comet's experiences are imbued with melancholy but also a bright, sustained comedy; he has a talent for locating bizarre and outsized players to welcome onto the stage of his life.

With his inimitable verve, skewed humor, and compassion for the outcast, Patrick deWitt has written a wide-ranging and ambitious document of the introvert's condition. The Librarianist celebrates the extraordinary in the so-called ordinary life, and depicts beautifully the turbulence that sometimes exists beneath a surface of serenity.

About the Author

Patrick deWitt is the author of The Sisters Brothers, which won the Governor General’s Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Walter Scott Prize. He also is the author of Ablutions, which was a New York Times Editor's Choice, and Undermajordomo Minor. The Sisters Brothers is being adapted for film by Jacques Audiard (Rust and Bone, A Prophet), to star Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, Riz Ahmed and John C. Reilly, for release in 2018. French Exit, his third book, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Born in British Columbia, Canada, deWitt now resides in Portland, Oregon.

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