The Art of Being Lewis
East Coast architect Lewis Morton thought he had it all: loving wife and children, dream job, and a house that meets his exacting architectural standards. But after his beloved mentor dies in suspicious circumstances and Lewis gets pulled into a lawsuit that threatens to destroy his career and possibly his life, the respectable identity he has carefully constructed for himself after fleeing his Jewish childhood in Montreal begins to disintegrate. In trying to build his new future he must first come to terms with his past. Who is Lewis Morton, and who will he choose to become?
The Art of Being Lewis was long-listed for the 2020 Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. It was a lovely and light surprise for a book that features a number of darkly comic moments. Lewis is also short-listed for the 2020 Nancy Richler Memorial Prize for Fiction.
And you can read my recent essay on reading, writing, and feeling during this time of coronavirus in the Literary Review of Canada: “A Novel Situation.” Thanks to editor Kyle Watt for the opportunity to appear in the journal.
Praise for The Art of Being Lewis
“Daniel Goodwin’s The Art of Being Lewis is a smart, funny and warmhearted novel in the spirit and lineage of Mordecai Richler.”
– David Bezmozgis, author of The Betrayers and Natasha and Other Stories
“Daniel Goodwin’s poetry and novels are always filled with deep insights into the confused state of modern masculinity. The Art of Being Lewis is his best work so far: a sad, hilarious, philosophical novel that blends fine writing and forward momentum. You will think about Lewis, his humiliations and regular triumphs, before falling asleep at night (if you can stop to turn out the light).”
– Todd Babiak, author of Come Barbarians and Son of France
“Imagine if, one fine day, your meticulously structured world fell apart. For Lewis Morton, a successful architect, it’s as if one of his buildings has collapsed over his head, burying in the rubble his sense of purpose and even his sanity. In this insightful, well-crafted and warm-hearted novel, Daniel Goodwin shows us that the materials upon which we build our lives should include the tricky yet essential blend of steel and imagination. This is that essential story of how to build a house that can properly be called a home.”
– David Layton, author of The Dictator
“A literary page-turner with profound insight into the stories we make our own.”
– Atlantic Books Today
“The novel’s cast of characters is sketched with care, down to the cut of their suit, the confidence expressed in their stance, the set of their expression in an awkward social setting. In its attention to detail The Art of Being Lewis is a contemporary version of the novel of manners by Jane Austen or George Eliot. Goodwin shifts the focus from a female central figure toward male customs, character and behaviour.”
– Norman Raavin, Canadian Jewish News
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Read my latest blog post: My debt to Richler.
And I hope you are staying healthy and safe during this time.