Set in Montreal, American writer, Russell Banks’ novel, Foregone, is a moving examination of a life and the painful things we hide – from our community, our family and even ourselves. As Leonard Fife is in the last throws of a long and fruitful artistic career, a young filmmaker listens, documenting Leonard pouring out moments from his past, things he’s never told anyone and things that have the potential to undercut his entire legacy as an artist. Structured around Fife’s secret memories and alternating between the experiences of the characters who are filming his confession, the novel challenges our assumptions and understanding about a significant lost chapter in American history and the nature of memory itself. Russell Banks gives us a daring and resonant work about the scope of one man’s mysterious life, revealed through the fragments of his recovered past.
Russell Banks talks with Globe and Mail contributing writer, Sandra Martin, about his novel and what it takes to create a character with so much to hide.
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Photo of the author courtesy of Nancie Battaglia.