Born in Carlisle in 1938, John Metcalf emigrated to Canada in 1962, where he became a lauded writer and a vocal champion of the short story form, as an editor nurturing some of Canada’s great talents from early in their careers. He is the author of more than a dozen works of fiction and non-fiction, including Going Down Slow, Kicking Against the Pricks and Adult Entertainment, which was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book. He lives in Ottawa.


Washington Post

‘Generous, hectoring, huge, and remarkable.’

Los Angeles Times

‘Hilarious, touching and delightful . . .  brilliant concision and understated humor.’

Harper's Magazine

‘One of Canada's best kept literary secrets.’

The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Literature in English

‘Metcalf has an abiding reputation as one of the finest prose stylists in contemporary Canada . . . The collections of his short stories are often regarded as his best work.’

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

‘In the novella ‘Medals and Prizes’ Robert Forde first appears in 1950s England at age 14 as he shares with his best friend a love of words, art, and jazz records [...] In the short story ‘Ceazer Salad’, Forde walks about Ottawa and rails at misused apostrophes and other abominations after his latest book is panned. Metcalf, a highly regarded Canadian writer born in 1938 whose life resembles Forde’s, also brings to mind variously Wodehouse, Waugh, Kingsley Amis, and Kyril Bonfiglioli. This is a book that could restore anyone’s faith in the pleasure of reading.’

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