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The Beautiful West and The Beloved of God

The Beautiful West and The Beloved of God

By Michael Springate

In the spring of 2008 Elena, who recently moved to Montreal with her seven year old daughter, Sharon, finds a job in a retail store on Sherbrooke Street. She meets Mahfouz working in his family's fast food outlet on The Main. Partially as an antidote to her chronic loneliness, partially influenced by Sharon's spontaneous affection for him, Elena commits to a deepening relationship. Together the three of them enjoy a wonderful spring. That summer, however, Mahfouz doesn't return from a visit to Cairo, and his father is picked up and held indefinitely for unknown charges on undisclosed evidence. Elena and Mahfouz, no longer in any contact with each other, must separately come to terms with their historical situation, and prepare for a future shaped by forces they struggle to understand.


Guernica Editions (Essential Prose Series)


272 pages |

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This is an exceptional novel, set in Montreal and Egypt, that brings out the frightening turns in the tribal wars being played out all over the world. The author’s historical awareness amply supports a deeply personal and local story, giving it a global resonance.

Rana Bose

I love the patient rhythm which creates in meticulous dialogue a mosaic of three Montreal families, their roots elsewhere. With reverberations in history, politics and philosophy, this is a humane, civil, and eminently Canadian world, yet the intensity and inevitability of the ending are overwhelming.

Leanore Lieblein

The Beautiful West & The Beloved of God is an amazing novel, frightening in its honesty, timely in its observations. Some of the scenes of Michael Springate’s unflinching picture of Western imperialism will leave you breathless.

Charles R. Lawson, Emeritus Professor of Literature at American University


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About the author

Michael Springate was the founding Artistic Director of the Painted Bird Ensemble in Montreal, active during the 1970's. In 1984 he became the Artistic Director of Playwrights Workshop Montreal, where he initiated the program New Music New Text, as well as Playwrights' Retrospective. He became the Assistant Head of the Theatre Section at the Canada Council prior to becoming the Artistic Director of Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg. His production of "The Stone Angel" was invited to a sold out run at The National Arts Centre in Ottawa.