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BookBrowse Reviews The Communist's Daughter by Dennis Bock

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The Communist's Daughter

by Dennis Bock

The Communist's Daughter
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2007, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2008, 304 pages

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Storytelling at its best - passionate, wrenching, compelling - about a complex, contradictory man caught in the relentless sweep of history

Dennis Bock imagines the life of the historical Norman Bethune, keeping the essence of history intact but playing fast and lose with the details. Details that some might consider rather central - such as the fact that the entire novel is addressed to Bethune's daughter who he never met - but, historically speaking, never had.

In his few spare minutes from the Chinese battlefield hospitals, Bethune writes to his daughter about his childhood, his failed marriage, his time in Franco's Spain and the siege of Madrid, and the futility of war; vividly describing the horrors of the Spanish Civil War and the terrible sufferings of the Chinese peasants stuck between Mao's revolutionary army, the Nationalist army and the Japanese.

In ...

Dennis Bock was born on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in the small town of Belleville. His family moved to Oakville, just west of Toronto, when he was six. He entered the University of Western Ontario after high school, and took one year off during that time to live in Spain. In 1989, he returned to Madrid for 5 years after graduating with an Honors BA in English and Philosophy. In Madrid he began writing his collection of connected stories, Olympia, and worked on it while in residence at Yaddo, the Banff Centre and the Fundacion Valparadiso, Spain. It was published in 1998 and won several prizes in the UK and Canada.

His first novel, The Ash Garden, was a #1 national bestseller. His second novel, The Communist's...

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