Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place

Article excerpt

Malcolm Lowry, edited by Nicholas Bradley, Hear Us O Lord From Heaven Thy Dwelling Place (Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press Canada, 2009), 361 pp. Paper. $21.95. ISBN 978-0-19-543006-6.

This collection of three novellas and four short stories was first published posthumously in Philadelphia by Lippincott in 1961 edited by Margerie Lowry. It won the Governor General's Award for fiction and earned strong critical praise as, for instance: 'a work of art - moving, noble, to be received with humility and gratitude ... from a good man and a writer of great, great talent' (Elizabeth Janeway's New York Times review, quoted on the 1969 Capricorn Books, New York, paperback reissue). Over the years it has been reissued by various publishers internationally, only once in Canada. This new edition in OUP Canada's 'Milestones in Canadian Literature' series makes this work available again in the country which provided a home for Lowry during a significant period of his life. The British Columbia landscape is setting and inspiration for some of the stories, profound symbol in others set in Rome, Pompeii or on a voyage through the Panama Canal.

Most readers come to Malcolm Lowry's work first through his masterpiece, the novel Under the Volcano (1947). That work is very different in conception and form from this set of linked stories, which Lowry thought of as a unit. Nicholas Bradley provides an introduction, a chronology of Malcolm Lowry, a select bibliography, a set of footnotes and a note on the text of the stories for which he uses the Lippincott edition. He omits that publisher's note and omits the music (the tune 'Peel Castle') to the Manx fisherman's hymn 'Hear Us O Lord . …

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