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334 pages (March 2004); 13.3MB downloadInsomniac Press
; ISBN: 9781897414217
The Insomniac Library is proud to reissue Gwendolyn MacEwen's second novel, more than thirty years after its original appearance in 1971. The novel bears important resemblances to MacEwen's earlier Julian the Magician. Writing to poet Al Purdy, MacEwen confessed she wanted her second novel to be bulky, readable, and not overly mysterious. Unlike in Julian, however, here MacEwen sets out to write a deeply serious novel that also functions as entertaining historical fiction. The novel's hero is Akhenaton, Pharaoh of Egypt's Eighteenth Dynasty, who was the first ruler to introduce the idea of monotheism. As Rosemary Sullivan remarks in her biography of MacEwen, he was, like Julian, one more human being filled with the god-lust. Akhenaton's single-mindedness in his quest for his own brand of reason is a powerfully paradoxical distillation of the artistic temperament: originality, fertility and beauty set against death and despair and an inability to love.